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A woman is missing.
My sweater is knit too loose and the wind blows through.
The leaves are done changing and are waiting to fall.
I think of them collaged against my morning-damp windshield;
they will mostly be red. My wipers will push them off;
I will forget about them. But inbetween these thoughts
my brain hums. A woman is missing and I cannot forget.

Two weeks ago the leaves were mostly green and yellow.
Two weeks ago a woman went missing.
I didn't know her but she went missing and today
I am standing at a wall covered with candles and
I am rolling her name over my tongue and I am thinking.
I am thinking and praying, but I am not hoping.  

A woman went missing; a woman is missing.
I keep going to work, getting up each day.
I brush my teeth, comb my hair, pack my lunch, drive my car.  
And mostly I do not think about her. But sometimes I do.
Sometimes the hairs on my neck stand up and the two blocks
between the library and the coffee shop are impossibly long.
Sometimes I feel so much a woman that it hurts.

Two weeks from now, when the trees are bare,
the police will find her body and I will go back to the wall of candles
to think about the woman who went missing and was found
but was not really found. There will be a hole in my chest and
I won't quite know why because I didn't know her.
But I will imagine I hear her laughter, see her smile,
and I will think of all the women in my life and I will weep.

A woman is dead and I cannot forget.
Edit: A huge thank you to =LadyofGaerdon for suggesting this as a DD (and as a DLD, too!) and to ^Beccalicious for featuring it. Means more than I can say. :heart:

Also, if you are interested, you can you can listen to me reading the poem here.




This is different for me, and so naturally, I am unsure of it. But part of me also rather likes it.

I reckon there's lots of stuff here that needs improvement, so if you'd like to call anything to my attention, critique is very much welcomed and desired. Feedback more generally would also be nice. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the themes and issues I am digging at here.

Finally, a brief bit of background on this: in October, a young woman went missing from the community in which I live and a search has been going on since. Yesterday, the police found her remains and began a homicide investigation. I didn't know her and never met her, but the story has really gotten to me -- perhaps because it was so close to home, perhaps because she is very close to me in age, and perhaps because it sickens me that women (and men, too, but I needed, right now, emotionally, to write this piece about women) still need to worry about this sort of thing. I'll be praying for her friends and family, and for all people who have been affected by similar situations, and I urge you to join my in keeping these people in your thoughts/prayers/meditations/et cetera.

:heart:,
Tazz.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2011-11-29
A woman is missing. by =OritPetra Suggester Writes: a seemingly remote tragedy turned it into a deep reflection of the shared fears and vulnerability we all wrestle with. ( Suggested by LadyofGaerdon and Featured by BeccaJS )
:iconartin2007:
artin2007 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013
It is lovely, and moving, Orit.
Reply
:iconvigilo:
Vigilo Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Student Writer
Hi - this is just to say, I used the title of your amazing piece in a poem of mine, for #TheTitlePage's contest, over here! If you'd prefer for me not to use it, please let me know, and I'll change it immediately. Thank you! :heart:
Reply
:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012   General Artist
You've sent shivers down my spine:heart:
Reply
:iconbeautyinreview:
beautyinreview Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Again, you manage to capture something that so many people feel in a few beautiful and heartbreaking stanzas. I have had this reaction to terrible things that happen around me, and I think that you evoke the fear and sadness of it very well. The fact that these things are a concern, that they are something to think about, that it is generally women who go missing and end up dead, is terrifying and terrible. I pray that one day we won't need to think about a woman going missing, because it will never happen.

We shouldn't forget, ever, so you immortalizing the event in a poem is fitting.

Gorgeous work, hon, that shows what a beautiful person you are. :heart:
Reply
:iconmreid973:
mreid973 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2012
Lovely and lyrical and leaves the reader with something to think about. Congratulations on the DD.
Reply
:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2012
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DLD (Daily Literature Deviations) in a news article that can be found here [link]
Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by :+fav:ing the News Article.

Keep writing and keep creating.
Reply
:iconangie-pictures:
Angie-Pictures Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2011
Congratulations on the DD! :iconflowerheartplz:
Reply
:iconthe-theory-liz:
The-Theory-Liz Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Hello again this piece is featured here: [link]
Reply
:iconthe-theory-liz:
The-Theory-Liz Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I think this is a beautiful reflection on events that haunt us :nod:
It needs to be said and the way it is thoughtfully articulated gives me the impression that this is still haunting. There is no shame in that. I think it's good to know that people are affected instead of turning a blind eye or being apathetic about it.

No one would be able to forget anyways maybe some but that is quite sad :no:
:tighthug:
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011   Writer
Yes, it's been reassuring for me that there are so many other people who are emotionally affected by this, who can find it within them to care deeply even about a stranger. These events are tragic and terrible, but at least they can remind us all of our humanity.

Thank you. :heart:
Reply
:iconthe-theory-liz:
The-Theory-Liz Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Yes indeed they can :nod:

You're welcome :aww:

It was my pleasure you writing is very heartfelt and true.
Reply
:iconjezahnaart:
JezahnaART Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011   Digital Artist
Gaerdon knows her stuff :)
Reply
:iconladyofgaerdon:
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2012  Professional Writer
This made me laugh. :giggle: Thank you!
Reply
:iconjezahnaart:
JezahnaART Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2012   Digital Artist
haha :)
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011   Writer
Thank you. :) :heart:
Reply
:iconnotepaddoodler:
notepaddoodler Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
;_;

I think this is very well written.
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011   Writer
Thanks. :heart:
Reply
:iconeclecticecho:
EclecticEcho Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
Beautiful and horrible. I enjoyed the way you alternate between "A woman" and "Two weeks", it gives a sense of connection between stanzas and sets up the idea of emotion over time that goes up and down through this poem. Excellent work.
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011   Writer
Thank you very much. :heart:
Reply
:iconnoblefivejorge:
NobleFiveJorge Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
I had no idea what all of this was about... nearing the end and after it I thought you were some manner of budding serial killer. Then I read the notes and everything fell together.

Great piece.
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011   Writer
I'm not entirely sure how the poem gave you that vibe, but that is somewhat troubling. Thanks though. :) :heart:
Reply
:iconthecriticofinnocence:
TheCriticofInnocence Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Student General Artist
:clap: Transcendentally Perfect.
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011   Writer
Thank you. :heart:
Reply
:iconthecriticofinnocence:
TheCriticofInnocence Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Student General Artist
You're welcome.
Reply
:iconsumarlegur:
sumarlegur Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
this is wonderful.
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011   Writer
Thanks. :) :heart:
Reply
:iconautomaticindigo:
AutomaticIndigo Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Student Writer
Gave me shivers. I particularly like the first two lines and the use of present tense. And I completely understand why you wanted to write this about women. It also helps the poem a lot. Only criticism is it gets very listlike in places.
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011   Writer
Thank you. :heart:
Reply
:iconmaidenofwar:
maidenofwar Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
kudos on the DD! :D
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011   Writer
Thanks, love. :heart:
Reply
:iconsuperawesome1121:
superawesome1121 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
oh boy.
lot's of missing women where I live. this really make me sad.
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011   Writer
I'm sorry to hear that there are women missing where you live. It is a terrible thing to happen, but all to sad a reality. Someday I hope it will be different. The missing women from your community are in my thoughts tonight. :hug: :heart:
Reply
:iconsuperawesome1121:
superawesome1121 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011
thanks so much, saddest part is, the police never really care. Over 500 First Nations women, missing or murdered. And they don't do anything. But thank you so much, anyways. <3
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011   Writer
That makes my heart ache. I am assuming you are somewhere in Canada, and the state of First Nation rights here is nothing short of appalingly. I'm actually quite interested in the activism around, and I think we all desperately need to change our mindset about such things. It's a racism that's not just systemic but cultural, and though the times of residential schools have passed, sadly, in some ways, not much has changed. The women in your community are in my hearts, and so are you, love. :heart:
Reply
:iconsuperawesome1121:
superawesome1121 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011
thank you so much <3
Reply
:iconlit-twitter:
Lit-Twitter Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
Chirp, congrats on the DD, it's been twittered. :)
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011   Writer
Cheep, cheep! Thanks, mate! :huggle:
Reply
:icon4nci:
4nci Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
Wow.. very touching and sad! I understand you very well..
Congrats on the DD!
:+fav:
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011   Writer
Thank you. :heart:
Reply
:iconvespertillion:
Vespertillion Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I love this. It's an eye-opener to the pain that can be felt by strangers, not to mention family and friends. A mother beat her young son to death in my community. I never really felt anything but disgust at the mother until reading this.
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011   Writer
To know that this has helped you reckon with and explore your feelings over such an experience is an amazing gift. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. :heart:
Reply
:iconinkdream46:
InkDream46 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
Poetry should cause the reader to feel emotion, and this poem did that for me. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for writing this. Beautiful and touching poem.
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011   Writer
You are very welcome. Thank you for the taking the time to read it and respond to it. To know that my writing allows people to confront and explore their emotions is a gift. :heart:
Reply
:iconcyzra:
Cyzra Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
this is really beautiful and strong. thank you for sharing. this has touched me on an emotional level perhaps because I too know the feelings you are sharing here.
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011   Writer
You are very welcome. Thank you also for sharing with me. To hear that my poetry has helped another examine and explore their emotions is a gift that I cherish. :heart:
Reply
:iconcyzra:
Cyzra Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
:)
Reply
:iconsalsamba:
Salsamba Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
I think I know exactly what (who) you're writing about, I too have friends who were touched by this tragic situation.
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011   Writer
Mmm, I just checked your profile to see where you're from, and you're thinking is likely exactly right. It was a terrible thing to have happen, and I think it has affected everyone in my community - province, even - very deeply.

Thank you for reading this. :heart:
Reply
:iconsalsamba:
Salsamba Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011
Thank you for writing this. <3 It's quite a compelling work. Congratulations on the DD, you certainly deserve it.
Reply
:iconoritpetra:
OritPetra Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011   Writer
Thank you. :heart:
Reply
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