Catch my breath

Dear Mother and Father, 
Once I catch a breath,
I will be first in my class

Once I catch my breath,
I will get a 100% on the test

Once I catch my breath,
I’ll be more lady-like
and walk with my head high

Once I catch my breath,
I’ll keep quiet when the men are talking;

I’ll not interrupt their ignorant mischauvinistic conversation with the words of a literate

Once I catch my breath,
I’ll graduate first in first class;
And I’ll have my rich igbo husband waiting

Once I catch my breath,
I’ll get pregnant within a year of marriage;
And birth twins: a boy and a girl.

I’ll do all these things
 once I catch my breath,
Because I need to catch my breath
To tell myself I am worthy;
And I am strong;
And I am beautiful;
And my existence in this world
Is enough to be grateful for.

Once I catch my breath.

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