What happens to Phoenix Jackson when she gets home?  "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty

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It's true that Phoenix Jackson is very old, or at least that she is somewhat senile. She knows why she makes the difficult journey, but when she reaches the doctor's office, she seems to forget, well, everything for a few moments. She seems to be doing almost everything by rote, because it's what she's been doing for so long now. In fact, the narrator says that "Old Phoenix would have been lost [in the city] if she had not distrusted her eyesight and depended on her feet to know where to take her." Then, once she reaches the doctor's office, she tells the Nurse, whose questions she doesn't even appear to recognize at being directed at her, that "'It was my memory had left me. There I sat and forgot why I made my long trip." The narrator describes her recognition as "a flicker and then a flame of comprehension" that moved across her face. When her memory returns, it is described as fire, and this seems to connect to her name: Phoenix, a bird who bursts into flame and then is reborn from...

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