After a husband kills his wife
and then shoots himself,
the newspapers report his death
as a tragic ending to a fine life.
When a woman is strangled
to death in her own basement
in front of her three-year-old,
her murder is called mysterious.
Blackened eyes never meet yours
when she says he tried to kill me;
there is no way to comfort children
whose mothers are forever absent.
Nothing mysterious about it,
nothing at all fine about a life wasted.
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Susie Clevenger has asked the Real Toads to raise our voices in condemnation of violence against women. In memory of Annamarie Cochrane Rintala and countless other women who lived with violence and whose lives were ultimately wasted. We remember and honor you.