Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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Ann Nietzke has worked since 1986 in a Los Angeles psychiatric shelter for homeless people. Her novel Windowlight won the Los Angeles P.E.N. Award for best first fiction, and her work has appeared in Shenandoah, the Village Voice, Playgirl, and elsewhere.
There is no simple way, no easy or uncomplicated way, to look into the face of a filthy old woman on the street. We are frightened or saddened or repelled, feel guilty if not resentful, and then we avert our eyes.