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Tropical Scars: Page 8 of 19

Body: 
cover image

"Cosatu - You Xhosas"

Ubuthi of tribalism
                   ubisi* of hatred
fed to us by false inyangas*
at nightshift
swallowed at lunchtime over a labalaba* game
at clocking-in time we gulp it
then sway the pangas*
and we drink some more.

"Costu you've had it" workers chant
"you are against our bosses
you affront our chief
Costatu - You Xhosas
you are foreigners
stealing our jobs and our money...
Tyre-necklaces for you for your exit
dispatch: to Zulu upstairs
there is more space there than in Kwa Makhutha, Inanda,
go Pondos go - there might even be jobs there
making some rain".

A councillor struts out from his shop
hawking the snakes he has trained to bonga
false chiefs
they even sing skewed words to Ulundi*
in nightime assemblies
he orders pits to be dug next to our Branbury Mills.* 
What stokvel* is this
with workers in giya*
swaying pangas stained with the
class's own blood?

Description: 
Destined to be an important contribution to progressive writing in S.A. - Frank Meintjies