My Middle Names
by Anita Ibeakanma

My Mama said to me
Anna is your middle name
For you are full of grace
You were without blemish
Florence another name
For your Godmother’s gaze
As you will always flourish

My peers said to me
Anna is out of vogue
Anita is now in vogue
As change remains promising
Move from grace to gracious
Florence can remain flourishing
For Florence is always precious

I said to me
Anita is now my middle name
This change in name is not a game
I move from grace to being gracious
For Florence remains a jewel so precious
As change is yet so promising
I’d rather my path keeps flourishing

PHOTOGRAPH: The author in 2001.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anita Ibeakanma is a novelist and short story writer — author of Faderme: Tears from a Little Boy’s Heart. Her second short story title Pretty Fightingirls was recently published in paperback and Kindle editions. She lives in Nigeria.