Photo by Alyssa L. Miller Jennifer Anderson essay n the locked unit an old woman slumps on one of the mismatched sofas that line the walls, crocheted blanket draped over her head. Beatrice, I think. She snores softly, and I consider nudging her awake, leading her to the dining room. But I don't. I need to hurry. Ada is yelling at one of the others to "Wake up! Wake up!" I grab the cassette player from the shelf near the door and head to the dining room--crowded with six tables, a wall of cupboards and a cart of bibs--to keep the residents busy while they wait for their eggs and toast. I'm the activity girl. SPRING 2013 / THE MISSOURI RE VIE W Fran is asleep, forehead pressed against the table, white hair streaked pink from the lipstick she rubbed there a day ago. Ada sits across from her, slapping the table with both hands. "Wake up! Wake up!" Her voice is hoarse. I open the cupboard and rummage through the basket of rumpled clothes I sometimes give the women to fold. Near the bottom, I find a plastic baby doll. "Ada, look what I found." "Give him
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: May 1, 2013
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