Yousafzai

by Deborah Ashfield

The blurry taste of blood / aromatic injury swelling in my
lungs, in my mouth, in my throat.
Kick me. Kick me again, and again,
We are the cement; there is no wall
without us. Where are your children?
did you kill them all too? Driven to madness.
Stripped of their youth.

A bullet skims my brain, but I speak
with a conspicuous air – without fear
of you – or your blank stares.
Take the keys out of your knuckles
Take courage, take charge
Take everything you own:
not his apology stained cards.

I am Woman, I am Youth – i have eyes made of
ice-fire, and strong, soft limbs.
I am divine vitality, dry as sticks.
We burn but do not scar – smelling of roses
and bittersweet victory

and breathing alongside the wind.