This is not an ode to Malala Yousafzai,
but bring her to me.
Bring her passion, her fury.
Bring her laughter, her pain.
You see, she is just an ordinary girl, with a beating heart,
like you. Like me.
She is just sixteen and on her way to school when a man climbs into
the back of her school bus and demands that she quiet down.
Halfway around the world, I am counting down the minutes until class ends.
Tick. The first shot explodes into the air.
Tick. Her blood pools on her best friend’s lap.
Bring her & we will breathe, we will recover from the battles fought.
& Isn’t that what being a woman is about?
Not the victories we’ve had, but the battles
we have fought, the battles lost and
the blood spilled. The shot through her eye, and out of her shoulder.
The fresh sting of insults,
the hungry eyes ravishing my body.
The keys held tight between my fingers.
Those battles. That’s womanhood.
Think: Amal Alamuddin marries George Clooney,
& it’s “one of the greatest achievements in human history.”
Forget her law degree, forget that she is trilingual.
Forget her humanitarian work, that she was an advisor to the United Nations.
Forget the real achievements--and this is normal.
This is just another day. Are we not worthy of the credit we deserve?
Of the right to an education?
Of empires being created and destroyed in our name?
Always, we are fighting the losing war. It’s never been easy,
never will be.
I am sick of writing this poem,
but I refuse to stop fighting.
I demand a revolution, to bring back our fallen soldiers.
This time, no more battles will be lost.
I will at least stand with Malala.
I will raise, & stand beside
The Girl Who Stood Up For Education.
Here, take my hand, and we will stand together;
when the lightning strikes, we will be thunder.
Directly inspired by Danez Smith's "Not an Elegy for Mike Brown".