Whir of sewing machine gun needle pierces
plain cloth-covered books in church library
binding poems from her dark mind
controls the little girl’s steps

from slick river stone to slick river stone
witch, harlot, heretic, sitting quietly disguised
as eight-year-old soul
survivor, stained by color
squares shoulders to face grandmother

Joyce Sweeney’s first chapbook, IMPERMANENCE, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008. Single poems have appeared in Broken Bridge, The Kerf, Earth’s Daughters, Rockhurst Review, The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Prompt and more. In addition she has written fourteen young adult novels and teaches creative writing. To date, she has mentored more than fifty writers to traditional publication. She alsoI also owns and operates a theater company, The Playgroup, that features the work of South Florida Playwrights.