In “Another Woman,” Carol Geneya Kaplan ruminates on the death of a woman who is killed by her abusive partner. Kaplan discusses the victim’s past, recalling her childhood and family. In doing so, the author reminds the reader that victims of domestic abuse are more than just a statistic; they are people “just like you and I” who deserve healthy relationships as much as anyone else. The use of the word “another,” in the title and in the poem, reminds the reader that this is not a rare occurrence—relationship abuse happens all the time. Below are a few excerpts:
“She died without CNN covering her war.
She died without talk of intelligent bombs
and strategic targets
The target was simply her face, her back
her pregnant belly.”
In the expert above, Kaplan comments on the lack of awareness surrounding relationship abuse. While the media is busy focusing on national events such as war, the ever-prominent violence of domestic abuse continues silently. Yet, the poem’s subject and her tragic death are no less important and terrible than a death on a battlefield.
“She was the same girl
her mother used to kiss;
the same child you dreamed
beside in school.”
Here, Kaplan emphasizes that people who are victims of relationship abuse are not a specific or obscure group of people. Relationship abuse can happen to anyone. Further, those in an abusive relationship have had as meaningful a life as anyone else; they too had mothers and childhood dreams.
“And someone has confused his rage
with this woman’s only life.”
This poignant stanza serves as the end of Kaplan’s poem. While the bulk of the poem focuses on the victim’s life, this stanza (which, for the first time, refers to the abuser directly) focuses on the angry act of murder and the woman losing her life. Everything prior, such as the victim’s childhood and parents, is gone in this final moment due to the abuser’s act of rage. The close of the poem thus reiterates the urgency of addressing domestic abuse in our communities.
The full poem can be found here: