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a newcomer
at the writing group
upsets the balance,
the pattern and flow
of read and response,
the kid glove critics
handing out biscuits
and circumspect approval.
she senses their mistrust,
an invisible wall
that must be scaled
or broken down.
she has to feel her way
past cold shoulders,
tentative, a blind person
in a maze of hazards,
nervous as a lamb
in unfamiliar pasture.