A Gate Goodbye

Sister Rose Boyle OP

It was a magnificent autumn morning.
The leaves of the June berry trees lining the pathway,
were turning shades of yellow and red.
I had just gone through the second gate
on the way into the prison,
when I heard a clear voice coming from the main courtyard,
now bathed in sunlight,
“There she is…..”
It was a prisoner who was being released
and he was running towards me across the courtyard.
He wanted to say goodbye and thank you.
He used to come to my weekly payer group
and I used to visit him on the wing.
Now, he was at the outer gate,
the gate to freedom.
I shall never forget the joy in his face
and the embrace of his smile.
It was a glimpse of the joy from beyond,
and I was quite overwhelmed
just sharing in it.
The officer escorting him,
stood respectfully at a distance,
and we parted.
It was a graced goodbye.

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