Yes, I met her, my creator.
I wasn’t made gloriously or even voluntarily.
She was compelled to do it, for the money,
same as you and me.
She wasn’t delicate about it, either—
told me right off. Didn’t want any illusions.

And she made it clear there was nothing
she was prepared to do
to make my life any easier.
Her job was just to create, no mollycoddling.
Was someone else maybe being paid
to lend a helping hand?
“Am I an information booth now?”

And that was it. She had to do another job.
I learned little else about her.
No one was paid to mollycoddle her, either.
I was created hardscrabble in her image.
That’s the quickest, cheapest way, she said.

Tom Riordan lives in New Jersey. He’s a retired restaurant worker and teacher, and dreams about becoming pope for his next career.

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