Lee Upton

Far Country
March 13, 2012 Upton Lee

Far Country


for Theodora

When you were in that country
I didn’t feel you were far away.
You were close even though
you were in that far country,
and then when I visited you in that country
I saw at last how far away you’d been,
that in that country by the North Sea
the winds buffeted you, cold winds,
and you walked on the cliff side,
as if clover could raise the sea.
You swayed within that country far away.
I can say that now,
after seeing the white-washed store fronts,
the trees loosening every wind in that country.
And even now I think of you walking on a ledge
in that far country,
the waves coming in as pages of books, not dreams
but actual pages,
and the pages are the blue of long, long life,
and the pages open endlessly
turned by an invisible hand.
You walk that ledge in that far country
above a sea unfolding depths,
raising and lowering waves
shining at night as books in silver rows
in that far country
where you are and must be
a woman and a Prospero.

Lee Upton’s most recent book of poetry is The Day Every Day Is (Saturnalia, 2023). Her comic novel, Tabitha, Get Up, is forthcoming in May 2024.