“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.”
They blew into the visitors’ room like it was party time,
stomping snow from their boots, laughing loud.
Four of them—a mother and her three kids,
shouting friendly insults at each other, tearing off
their coats, jostling past us, racing to the seats
at the far end of the room.
The guards gathered around the check‐in desk
eyed them with a mix of curiosity and disapproval.
Such gaiety seemed out of place in this somber space.
It was as if the children didn’t understand that fun
is forbidden in a prison.
The man I’d come to see and I exchanged a smile.
Any light is welcome to those who dwell in darkness.