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Jackson County, NC

On September 18th Bonnie Woodring was shot to death in the kitchen of the shelter for abused women. Her husband, John “Woody” Raymond Woodring, waited at the locked door until an employee opened the door to leave. He then shoved his way inside with his sawed off shotgun. Bonnie’s thirteen-year-old son was also inside the shelter. He escaped “unharmed,” but no doubt he is deeply wounded for life. The killer escaped in a stolen car and has eluded capture.

Henderson County, NC

Gloria Solis-Zelaya was shot to death, and her one-year-old child critically wounded, by her husband Joel Zelaya Rivera shortly after midnight On Sunday September 25th. The couples’ four and seven year old daughters have been taken into custody by the county’s Department of Social Services. 

“The killings were the fourth and fifth domestic violence-related slayings in WNC this year. So far during 2006 in North Carolina, 49 women have been slain in domestic violence-related killings. Woodring is believed to be the only woman killed in a shelter in North Carolina.”North Carolina had a dramatic rise in child homicides last year, with the number of children killed reaching its highest level since 1996, according to the state Child Fatality Task Force, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.”Thirty-seven children were killed in 2005 by their parents or guardians — that is a 20 percent increase from the previous year,” said Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, chief executive office of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect. “It doesn’t seem to indicate a significant trend, other than it seems to be very young children — close to 90 percent of these children were under 4 years of age. The other significant piece is that blunt force head trauma was present in nearly 60 percent of the cases.”    –Asheville Citizen Times, September 27


In the shadows
we let the dogs lie
chewing the bones of our children

In the shadows hide
the women who 
in one hand
carry a wavering candle of hope
and in the other
the slim pocket knife of freedom

in the shadows 
bullets slip smooth into barrels
boys are laced with poison words
women hold their hands up to their eyes
girls are fingered with threats
and the bones of babies rattle
against the grated anger of the living

where is the end of it
oh let me light a beacon
let me climb a lighthouse
and kindle a flame
let me whirl light out to the world
give me some work
some prayers
give me something more powerful
than a gun, a fist, a silver tongue
give me some light
and the courage to walk in dark places.


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