We sit in folding chairs
and set our elbows on the plastic tabletop.
Its bumpy surface doesn’t slow us.
The mah-jongg game in the next room
erupts in loud laughter.
Still, we are not deterred.
Hands swish across smooth sheets,
pages are turned, paper rattles.
We hold our breath
Or rest our foreheads in our hands,
eyes closed, thinking.
There is companionship in writing alone
Our thoughts are secret
but our output obvious.
We start together with the same prompt
then wander separate paths,
secure in the knowledge that
each step is worthy of its effort
and will be celebrated.
Celebrated, whether spoken or
Celebrated by our fellow writers
in the chamber music of creation.