The memory is small, like a seed pearl—
perhaps not so grand, maybe only a mustard seed of thought.
Her mother bathing and a splash of water.
The trunk of her flesh, pulse of muscle
under scales and then back to pink skin,
the end of the bath and her father's voice calling,
Margaret, are you finished with the child?
Her hand hovers over the door not to be opened.
Briefly seen: a print of men weeping, then turning away.
Her true nature will be revealed through a keyhole.
The blood from within the first sign that the wings are sprouting.
The girl hides in her mother's armoire
gazing at the women, demure
with leathery wings and forked tails.
These must be the ones who will escape.
The ones without daughters.
Heads together over tea, they plot.
Only the nightly storming of dreams betrays them,
leaving the city's men washed up on the shores of their homes.
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