Where two or more are gathered

to write together, a cone of concentration
descends over us, colored pens scrawl across
a pristine page. One woman’s tiny script
flows red inside a small book with a rainbowed
edge. Another bends toward her drawings
and zentangles scattered among hand-bound
blank sheets. As we read, the storms outside
congregate far to the south. We attend to our
stories, shiny surfaces wiped transparent, no one
exempt from being wounded—intentionally
or inflicted by the ignorant. How magical this act
of writing, reading aloud, feeling heard, with
gratitude for a leader who knows how to convey
respectful calm, to highlight strengths, universality,
to encourage us to keep going, keep writing,
allow what is beneath our façades to be made
visible, to gather and assemble as new insights.

Mineral, Virginia. Joan Mazza has worked as a microbiologist, psychotherapist, sex therapist, and speaker. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (PenguinPutnam) and her poetry, essays, and stories have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies, including Rattle, Potomac Review, and The Nation. 
An excerpt of her memoir, titled "First Favor" appears in Streetlight Magazine: 
https://streetlightmag.com/2018/03/23/first-favor-by-joan-mazza/
Her website, with links to other work: 
www.joanmazza.com.

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