From the moment of her dismissal, before packing her car, she was already beyond the point where she could retreat disdainfully, sweeping a bold cape around her shoulders and bequeathing deep but dainty footprints in the lives of the people she left behind. Instead she felt like a soldier disgraced by a dishonourable discharge. In a community where disabilities are so visible, she had hoped she could hide.
Smith offered this assessment: “The narrator finds inner courage and self-worth in her work as an aide in a group home. The parallelism of visible and invisible disabilities effectively broadens the theme. The imagery of the story is subtle and effective, the car and the piano, for example, serving as tender portraits of the narrator herself.”