There's a park here and apparently it's 2 miles from my house because I clocked it today (and walked back). It's called Martha Washington and it was the site of a home for unwed mothers. There are huge trees, a circular drive and a small orchard. Beyond the fringe at the bottom, are stairs to the lake. Hidden from the street we renegade dog owners take our off-leash dogs to the water so they can swim and romp with each other.
When I'm there, I think about the ghosts of the girls who walked those same stairs to the water, heavy with a baby they couldn't or didn't keep, going away for the summer and returning to school as if nothing had happened. And the shame. And the guilt. And how different it is now. At least half the women I see in my clinic are unmarried, as was I when my babies were born.
Girls, floating and their babies floating over the green lawn and the ball-chasing dogs. And the swallows dipping and swooping.
Who delivered them? Who adopted the babies? All because of sex. And no access to birth control. And shame. Lots and lots of shame.
It's a shame.