Here lie the bodies of children killed in secret experiments
Link to additional information. L

Easter 2004

Yesterday
I visited an unmarked graveyard. It lies in the heart of Montreal, behind an institution which supposedly exists to ease suffering and promote well-being. As it happens, I have walked past this gravesite many times in my life. I even walked over it a couple of times back in the early seventies, when I was out for a midnight skinny-dip with friends.

On hot summer nights, a few of us used to climb the tall stone wall that hides the spot from passersby. I recall those midnight swims, and the thrill of jumping over the wall, and landing on the grass below where we would throw off our clothes and race to the swimming pool, which was usually deserted at that hour of the night. We called it "the crazy people's pool" -- because it stood on the grounds of a mental hospital. Doctors and nurses used it, mostly, but in those days, we all swam in the same water. Once we got in, we had to be careful -- there might be a guard somewhere on the premises. We swam in silence.  Floating on my back, I would think about the life that lay ahead of me, and all the things I wanted to do. The strangest thoughts would come into my mind as I stared up at the stars. After our swim, we'd quickly get dressed and climb back over the wall.

Jumping down, we never guessed there were little bodies buried in the ground beneath our feet. You might call them the "permanent residents" of that hospital.

 


photo by Sonja Skarstedt

Fog drifting over Mount Royal, November 2003.

 

Link to additional information.
Link to additional information.
Link to additional information.
Link to additional information.
Link to additional information.
Link to additional information.
Link to additional information.