"My parents told me to keep coming to school even if I am killed.
The people who did this to me don’t want women to be educated.
They want us to be stupid things"
despite being injured in an acid attack. (NYT, 14 Jan. 09)
Today we study Economics and World History,
subjects not dear to my heart, not even close
to my love of music and the stars. Yet, if I
don’t go, they will win, those who threw acid
at me last week, those who walk up to me
and give me a nod just before blowing themselves
into Allah’s eternity. But my mother is right:
if I don’t go today, I won’t go tomorrow, and
soon not only this battle, but the war is won by
men who don’t want women to have a chance,
now or ever. Out the door I go, head covered,
eyes averted, holding my breath, hoping I
make it to school with my lunch---and my life.
Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he is a regular contributor to The New Verse News. More of Earl's poetry appears at his blog, Writing by Earl.