It is a long way from here,
but there is a map.

It is in another country,
but we have passports and visas,

and I speak the language.
The people are friendly,

or if not friendly, they know me
and they will not harm you.

There is no map,
but I know the way,

and even in bad weather, when roads
are sometimes impassable,

there are inexpensive inns
where we can spend the night.

The currency is strange there,
but these are my people,

and when you are among my people
you won’t need money,

they will take care of you,
they will treat you like family.

My family left the village long ago.
They are all dead now,
they died in wars no one
speaks of anymore,

but still the people there
remember them.

‘It’s you! they will say
when we get there.

We knew you would come.
Welcome home.’

F&S Web

Tim Upperton

Tim Upperton’s second poetry collection,‘The Night We Ate The Baby’, was an Ockham New Zealand Book Awards finalist in 2016. His poems feature in numerous anthologies, including ‘The Best of Best New Zealand Poems’ (2011) and ‘Essential New Zealand Poems’ (2014). His third poetry collection will be published by Auckland University Press in 2022. He lives in possibly the oldest house in Palmerston North with his dog, cat, and two chickens.