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October 2019 Vol. 15 No. 3

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Marilyn Ashbaugh

Liar’s Club

She lies in bed, resting on her side, with her back to me. Periodically, she turns in my direction, reaches toward the ceiling with her left arm, and calls “Etty! Etty!” Sometimes loudly, sometimes softly. My job is to assure her. “I am here. I am here. Etty is here.” I touch her upraised hand, or her shoulder, very gently for she appears fragile and precious to my young eyes. She does not look at me, but my voice and touch register and she returns to her rest until she calls out again and I reassure her again.

in a nursing home
first paycheck