Mahatma Malala

by Eric G Muller

Mahatma Malala

what details of the day did you discuss

as you stepped on the bus

surrounded by the chirp & giggle of other girls?

Mahatma Malala

what must you have thought when a masked man

who roared up on a motorbike, drew the green drape aside

and stuck his head into the back of the dusty van?

Mahatma Malala

what fear, if any, did you feel when the hooded militant

pointed his pistol through the shredded shrieks of schoolgirls

shouting – which one of you is Malala?

Mahatma Malala

what courage must blaze in you

having known all along they’d hunt you down

and punish you for exposing their evil?

Mahatma Malala

what ineffable drive moved you to resist and speak out

against the will and mayhem of the Taliban –

the burning of schools to sever girls’ education?

Mahatma Malala

you could not have heard the twin shots

that hit you in the head & neck

and wounded two more chaste-veiled daughters

Mahatma Malala

you must know that your mellow voice for peace

is louder than any shots fired to spread fear

instead of freedom in the Swat Valleys of the world

Mahatma Malala

you are the future of a force

grander and greater than all blind fanaticism

that tries to impose its cowardly will

Mahatma Malala

you sum up tomorrow’s women

a feminine force that leads to light

the threatened masculine rage through love

Mahatma Malala

you, a mere 14 year old

have shown what each of us

can do to change life for the better

Mahatma Malala

may you survive the wounds you took

for all who suffer undue bondage

for spreading – not Western – but human thinking

Mahatma Malala

Great Soul Malala

your voice –

it lives on

Eric G. Müller teaches literature and drama at the Hawthorne Valley High School in New York. He is the Alkion Center Teacher Training director. He has written two novels, Rites of Rock (Adonis Press 2005) and Meet Me at the Met (Plain View Press, 2010), as well as a collection of poetry, Coffee on the Piano for You (Adonis Press, 2008). Poetry, articles and short stories have appeared in many journals, anthologies and magazines.