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Pilgrim State Hospital (Brentwood, NY) | welcome to ward number 5

Dying In Your Sleep: Photographing Pilgrim State Hospital's Remains
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there is a place between waking and sleep
here no one even knows you're alive -
even you, for your heart has been buried so deep
welcome to ward number five

our thoughts are all managed, our days are preplanned
and we’re told towards which goals we should strive
our feelings and dreams and our victories all canned
welcome to ward number five

we’re given ‘coping skills’ to manage the pain
and the tedium which we must survive
and if they don’t work then they’ll scramble your brain
welcome to ward number five

the sun outside the windows is hopeful and bright
and all the things under it thrive
but in here we wilt beneath fluorescent lights
welcome to ward number five.
Pilgrim State Hospital, Long Island NY. 2009

Photograph and text by Matthew Christopher