Bearer

Bare of everything but particulars

Is a Bantu

The language of a people in Southern Africa

He seeks to proceed from here to there

Please pass him on

Subject to these particulars

He lives

Subject to the provisions

Of the Urban Act of 1925

Amended often

To update it to his sophistication

Subject to the provisions of the said Act

He may roam freely within a prescribed area

Free only from the anxiety of conscription

In terms of the Abolition of Passes Act

A latter-day amendment

In keeping with the moon-age naming

Bearer’s designation is Reference number 417181

And (he) acquires a niche in the said area

As a temporary sojourner

To which he must betake himself

At all times

When his services are dispensed with for the day

As a permanent measure of law and order

Please note

The remains of R/N 417181

Will be laid to rest in peace

On a plot

Set aside for Methodist Xhosas

A measure also adopted

At the express request of the Bantu

In anticipation of any faction fight

Before the Day of Judgement.

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