After ten months in the care home, her voice seems at the same strength again as it used to be: it ruled the household where I was raised— commanding us to rise, to hurry, to come to the dinner table; or when she was angry, to get out of her sight. She's in the sunny common room to share birthday cake and noodles with other white- haired seniors and their attendants. A moment's lapse, into which now she slips more often: thinking this is the house to which her husband took her, his bride more than sixty years ago. He's long gone. That house is gone; also the one where she'd lived more recently, if that's what it can be called—with relatives who kept her locked up in a room and left her nothing to eat; with only one naked bulb for light. When those who were her virtual jailers left, all manner of trash was strewn about, stuffed into moldy kitchen cabinets. Pictures fluttered in albums under the leaking water tank. At least she was spared this last sight of those walls painted a mix of Pepto- Bismol and canary. When someone puts a bouquet of blush-tinged roses in her lap, she clutches them to her chest and won't let them go.