Here, in South Africa

Dec 8, 2022 | 2023 Winter - Bodily Autonomy, Privacy, & Feminism, Poetry

By Kirsten Deane


Here, in South Africa

I have seen a few women who are capable of growing hair on their chins.

This only seems unusual when there is a man beside them. 

Here, in South Africa

we are told that men will determine what it means to be a woman here—

we cannot have what they already do.

Here, in South Africa

let our chests be clear of hair and our chins

nothing but flesh

but unread this poem,

South African women, 

do not say anything that the South African man hasn’t. 


Kirsten is a Creative Writing graduate student at the University of The Western Cape in South Africa. Her writing has been featured in journals nationally and internationally, including the Best New African Poets 2019 and 2020 anthology. She believes in writing that always tells the truth, as blunt as that may be.

Related Articles