I’m told that my mother

got her first full-time job in 1937

only because one “Dotty Smith” had appendicitis

and had to leave for the hospital.

To Dotty Smith, I owe everything

— my birth, my future, my very existence.

It was Dotty’s appendectomy

that caused my mother

to win Dotty’s job

and stay in town

and rent a room

that came with a next-door neighbor

who fixed mom up

with a sweet guy she soon married.

Eight years later,

she and that guy had me.

Dotty survived.

I’m still struggling.

Edward R. Dufresne © 2010

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