“Daphne” by Janie Slabbert

A tree brushed against me last night,
tracing those marks
you left on my body
like severed limbs,
the ghost of feeling that stays
even after the source is cut.

I felt a human touch
in that tree,
branches fingering,
gently fingering as if to say,
“I’ve known him, sister,
he’s chased me too.”

Janie Slabbert finds enjoyment in all things creative from writing poetry to illustrating. In her writing, she draws inspiration from fairy tales, classical mythology and her own life, emulating the confessional style of inflecting personal experience through images and stories. She is currently exploring the way in which women writers mediate experiences of sexual violence through elements in Greek and Roman myth for her Master’s research, a process that is significantly shaping her poetic voice.


  1. Angelina Maltby

    A beautiful sensitive poem addressing a real problem in society. Thank you for sharing your talent, Jani. Keep on writing!

  2. kate dunn

    Janie, this is so beautiful. So happy to read it. Best wishes to all the Slabbert in the Cape!
    Kate, and your young cousin Laura, in Canada

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