© Maria Dunn, 2013

Inspired by Malala Yousafzai, human rights activist. To support the important work of her organization, please see:


Malala, where are you going?
I’ll walk beside you
I’ll meet you there

Born to a faithful family
Her father saw it in her face
Bold and bright, engaged, alive
Meant to take her rightful place

Like her brother, she loves learning
Like him, she’s stubborn too
When the Taliban forbids it
Secretly, she slips to school

Now a veil of fear descends
Dark upon the quiet land
Twisting words of peace and love
To violence and harsh commands

Some will not succumb in silence
Some will not give up their rights
Against the shrinking walls around her
With her voice and pen she strikes

Riding home from class with friends
A young man boards her bus and shakes
“Who is Malala?” he demands
And shoots at point-blank range

The hand of God, the hands of surgeons
Fervent prayer around the world
So disarm this act of hate
And fire the will of every girl


Maria Dunn vocal, accordion
Karim Gillani guest vocal
Shannon Johnson violin, harmony vocal
Ojas Joshi tabla
Jeremiah McDade soprano sax, bansuri, harmony vocal
Solon McDade upright bass