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EXCERPT: Locked in Isolation Cell at Age 14 in Grandview Training School

June curled up on the floor, alone in a dark room.
Sketch by June's Granddaughter, A. Lagerquist.

With 5 days left until my book launches, here is an excerpt detailing my experience when I was 14 years old at the Grandview Training School for Girls in Cambridge, Ontario. They would put girls in cold, pitch dark isolation cells as punishment and this excerpt captures the experience I had in one:

Excerpt from my book, Outside the Gate

"Curling into a fetal position on the cold floor I lay with my legs drawn up to my chest.

Trying to keep the warmth within my body as the complete darkness and cold of the room threatened to overwhelm me and seep into my soul.

Loneliness, deep and fathomless was filling me up, an all too familiar feeling coming at me in waves.

I rode against those waves.

This was the loneliness of isolation."

Three days dragged by. Hour upon slow hour.

I would say the prayers I had been taught at the orphanage.

I would sing the songs softly to myself.

Fighting the demons that were rising in me.

Daily I fought the devil.

Daily I won.

On the evening of day four the woman of stone walked me back to the home house.

The fresh air hit my face as I walked behind her.

Looking into the sky on the walk back I saw the stars.

That night the snow was falling softly and there was a beautiful full moon.

A song in my soul created peace.


No darkness of humankind could that beauty still

On that starry night when the world was still

That night sky was a common grace

Nothing done to me could ever replace

The moon was full, and in the sky

The angels were singing

They were the stars

I had won the battle of my mind

In that starry night

Peace was mine

My spirit was unbroken, and my mind was clear

On that starry night when my Lord was near

- Poem by June Smith, Outside the Gate

My book, Outside the Gate, launches in just 5 days - amazingly landing on my 80th birthday, Wednesday, October 5th. So mark that date in your calendars and I look forward to sharing this big moment for me with you all!

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Adam Del Monte
Adam Del Monte
Oct 01, 2022

Can't wait to buy your book!

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