There we were, our first visit to Gatesville, Texas.
Breathtaking, green rolling hills, rocky white limestone.
Gracious good friends as our benevolent nexus,
To this place where the sun so magnificently shone.
Country so gorgeous, it perplexes.
Prior to our lovely sojourn, on hearing the town’s name,
Prison images, vague and ambiguous, were all that came to mind.
Such an unflattering association, what a misfortunate shame.
The depiction so deficient, misleading, painfully unkind.
Now we know, since we came.
Now, since our fortunate stay, in our minds we can see,
In our memories, lush green pastures and endless rolling hills.
Scrubby little cedars and tall oak trees blooming in beauty.
Warm water in deep creek beds, cool spring water that chills.
Peaceful breezes blowing free.
Venerable farm cottage, standing watch over it all.
Collecting memories for well more than a century.
Like the sweet grandmother we forgot to call.
Serenely, gracefully withstanding and resisting time’s injury.
Regally refusing to fall.
Even the children were not immune to the magic
Of the vast beauty we were immersed in at the farm.
Swimming in the creek, relaxing in the shaded hammock.
Feeding the goldfish in the cistern, absorbing the land’s charm.
To them, leaving was tragic.
To our most gracious good friends, Amy, Cindy, and Charlie,
We owe heartfelt thanks for their most generous invitation.
And to our hosts, the kind Doctor and sweet Mrs. Bailey,
Simple words are not enough to express our sincere appreciation.
Your welcoming us back left us all able to leave more cheerfully,
Knowing we can return without hesitation...
...To Beautiful Gatesville.