All the women in our family have wings.
As daughter begets daughter, this odd
feature keeps showing up.
Theyre nothing splendid, nothing colorful
or eagle-like, just small protrusions
against our round bodies with our thin legs.
They serve no purpose, except to be
inherited each year a daughter is born, the
mothers remaining ornery and flightless.
With our clothing on one would never know,
unless you notice how we never sink into
a chair but perch on the very edge of it instead,
or the anorexic look when were seen bending
over from behind, the bones poking through, or
the way we run, strangely aiming upward.
Each time a girl is born we peel the blankets
away and inspect our daughters back and
shoulders. Our husbands, puzzled by the sharp
twills just beneath their baby girls skin, worry,
but we sigh with relief that his generations of
smooth backs did not interfere this time,
not an air of confidence lost,
not one feather out of place.