About a month ago three Taliban hit men shot 15-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai in the head on her way to school. Not only did she survive, but she is expected to fully recover and has already asked for her schoolbooks so that she can continue her studies. The Taliban, who tried to kill her because of her outspoken support for the education of girls, have vowed to finish the job; undeterred, she has vowed to return to school. Malala has become an inspiration for millions around the world, and today the United Nations delcared a “global day of action” for her. I penned the following verses to voice our support for her and for every girl around the world that struggles to receive an education so that she can better her life and make the world more beautiful, just and wonderful. (Note: since I wrote this in 2012 Malala has become a global inspiration and won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work advancing the rights of girls and women)
They board the bus, sound the alarm:
Their terror is but fear
Of a little girl they cannot harm,
Whose valor the world reveres.
The leaf falls, the bullet pierces:
A patch of earth, a patch of sky
Bear witness to her fierce
Refusal to comply.
History has a right side and a wrong:
Righteousness does not reside
In the machinations of the throng…
She is the hero’s bride!
For all this time we’ve been led
To believe that good can come from dice,
Even as from her convalescing bed
She quietly reveals our cowardice.
Now we have no choice
But to give freedom her voice,
For once we take a moral stance
We no longer leave justice to chance.
Written in November, 2012