Lyn Lifshin

On the Day


rushing to the metro, already a little late on my way

to ballet I nearly skid on accords, catch myself

I think of Malala, maybe rushing, never

wanting to think her name means "grief

stricken," as I've written a poem about

becoming what you're called. Maybe

she was humming a song she heard once

on TV before the Taliban banned it or

was watching leaves drift from the bus

or giggling with girl friends. Maybe

she was thinking of being a doctor and

coming back to treat young children

in her region, her swat. Or maybe she

was hoping to see a certain boy with

licorice eyes and a smile who always

made her giggle. No longer able to wear

school uniforms, told to wear plain

clothes, Malala wrote in her blog,

Instead, I decided to wear my favorite

pink dress. Maybe the last beautiful

thing she saw as the bullet entered her

mahogany curls until later she woke

up in the hospital's cone of light



She Said She Couldn't See To Walk Easily


in her long gray

drab burka. Some

times it was hot.

It was as if she

wanted to bring

color, not the

source of the storm.

Wanted to walk

into life like it

was her house. She

wanted to wear

pink because

it was her favorite

color. There are

songs she wants

to sing. She wants

to feel as if each

day could unravel

new mysteries.

She wants the school

to receive her in

quiet calmness

the way the lake

opens to receive

a flock of swans

Note:  Malala Yousafzai is a young teenager from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkwa province. Known for her education and activism on behalf of women's rights where the Taliban had banned girls from attending school, she was shot in the head and neck by Taliban gunmen on October 9, 2012, while returning home on a school bus. After extensive treatment in a hospital in Birmingham, England, she is recuperating with her family in the Birmingham area.

Lyn Lifshin's Another Woman Who Looks Like Me was published by Black Sparrow at David Godine in October, 2006. (Also out in 2006 is her prize-winning book about the famous, short-lived racehorse, Ruffian: The Licorice Daughter: My Year With Ruffian from Texas Review Press.) Lifshin's other recent books include Before it's Light, published in 1999-2000 by Black Sparrow press, following their publication of Cold Comfort in 1997 and 92 Rapple from Coatism.: Lost in the Fog and Barbaro: Beyond Brokenesss and Light at the End, the Jesus Poems, Katrina, Ballet Madonnas.For other books, bio, photographs see her web site: Persephone was published by Red Hen and Texas Review published   Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness. Most recent books: Ballroom, All the Poets (Mostly) Who Have Touched me, Living and Dead. All True, Especially the Lies. And just out, Knife Edge Absinthe: The Tango Poems. In  July 2013,  NYQ books will publish A Girl Goes into The Woods. Also just out: For the Rosespoems after Joni Mitchell and Hitchcock Hotel from Danse Macabre. Forthcoming books include Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle.  And Tangled as the Alphabet The Istanbul Poems from NightBallet Press. Just released, the DVD of Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass.



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