My Way to Respire

by Vivian Enriquez


I inhale a precious concept
That my ancestors chose to survive for me
Overcoming cultural theft, marginalization, oppression
And more
Just for my sisters, brothers, and me.

That they chose me as their successor.

I inherit their will to resist
Allowing me to become another
Layer of soil,
Becoming an addition to the loam
containing their wisdom.

They are the minerals in me that
Make me hustle
Up the scintillating stairs made of the most expensive texture
That are experiences.
The staircase that leads me to liberate
Not only myself
But everyone before me as well.

Knowledge is my diaphragm
Pushing up against my lungs.
It is my hope and payment method,
To make Mother and Father proud

Imagine weaving opportunity into the tapestry for successors like me,
Imagine how my successor will thrive
In the foundation my grandparent’s grandparents
Toiled all their lives

I swoon over this exquisite thought.
And as I hold my breath, I know in my mind and heart
Education is my chance to exhale.


Vivian Enriquez is a Latina high school senior residing in Los Angeles County. She is part of a mentoring program called WriteGirl where she has cultivated her passion for poetry. She enjoys writing about the human experiences along with a variety of concepts. On her free time she likes to help her community from participating in charity drives and walks to volunteering at her local elementary. A dream of hers is to one day publish her own collection of poetry.

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