December 18, 2017

Body of a Woman who went Missing. {Poem}


I didn’t intend to write this poem, but then the first four words popped up in my inbox as part of a subject line:

“Body of a woman…”

That particular day, my mind was hopeful and my heart was creative—I thought it would be inspiring. Perhaps, it was an article about dance. Maybe, it was an article about how a woman had given birth under extraordinary odds, or a woman was given an award for strength, or a woman’s body was so beautiful it had to be honored in writing.

I clicked on the email and got the rest of the line:

“Body of a woman who went missing…”

I knew how it would end. I couldn’t read it.

So I wrote a different ending.

Inspired by the silence breakers, #metoo movement, and activists and supporters from all generations, my hope is that our voices, linked together, will change these endings for good.


The body of a woman who went missing
was found dancing in the rain,
on a mountaintop
she climbed alone.
She was prepared and relishing every moment
in the wide, open air.

She was allegedly dragged
into her heart’s greatest desires
by her strong, righteous love of life,
which she showed in every word and movement she made,
and by the thrill of success.

Several women have reported him
not being important
in the end,
compared with their own ideas, hearts, creativity,
intelligence, and drive.

Allegedly, some of the women have said
they are committed to coming together
to make the lives of other women better,
and not giving a f*ck,
despite real dangers.

She was a woman of color,
and she was seen,
she was heard,
she was respected.
And she was valued.

He was a rich, white boy,
and it didn’t matter.
He was charged
with murder,
with rape,
with assault,
with truly becoming a better man,
with embracing his loving and vulnerable nature,
with change—
with knowing where his power and rights need to end
and hers begin.



Author: Lilah Behrend
Image: @elephantjournal/Instagram
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Social Editor: Lindsey Block

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