Not faster than a speeding
Not invincible or impervious,
not invisible, or electrifying.
Just a small girl
in a headscarf
on a bus going to school.

In her heart,
she believes
that words and knowledge
are stronger than evil
and ignorance.
She believes
she’s worth as much
as any boy.

She believes people
are basically good.

When she wakes up again
in a foreign country
with a hole in her skull
where the bullet had been, and
one of her friends,
who had only wanted
what she wants,
she knows
she must use her powers for good.

Her coming of age,
her first test,
is to name, not her fears,
but the fears of her enemies
and the fears of her friends
to show us
they are the same.
And now she is on fire
and her words
burn all of us.