By Adolph Caso
The steel plate
Miraculously containing your brain
Is giving you new life
Despite the bullets that pierced your skull
More times than one.
You were a little girl!
The individual that shot you:
Is he a human being still redeemable?
Or, is he to be redeemed by us?
I am glad you believe you should!
A jackal could have killed you,
And devoured your flesh.
But the one
Who tried to destroy your body
Could not destroy your soul.
The deserts of the past
Have less sand, heat and cold,
Than those of today,
The caravans of yesterday
Have all but disappeared.
The head gear designed by those ancient people
And used by both men and women
Allowed them all to survive
The most hostile of environments.
Though sand continues to abound in our deserts,
It is no longer trickling into our homes,
Or onto your own little body.
Except to keep you cool or warm,
Unlike the men
Who divested themselves of turbans and shawls,
You, your sisters, and mothers are made to wear the gear
As slaves wore them--
In the most deprived conditions
Of one man’s oppression over another--
Forced to wear the permanent ankle chains,
For the benefit of one,
To the detriment of all--
Until they died.
Their souls are tearing at my heart!
Malala, climb onto real hill tops,
And shout to your sisters—young and old:
Take off your shawls!
To head gears meant for indenture.
The sand is neither in your home nor on your body.
Shout, as many times you can;
Urge them to listen to your words:
“It is better to live one day as a lion,
Than a thousand days as a sheep,”
Show them your body contains a soul
That cannot be destroyed--
Even in a little girl
Left to die by bullets of depraved men,
Who caused you to bear that plate.
Take down your head garment
On television networks;
And dismantle the head gear of oppression!
Hail to the life of one, to live as a lion,
Replacing your words with actions.
For the benefit
Of your fellow human beings
To lead them