Curfew

Written by: Patrick Maitland

The sun set, the siren wailed
Furtively the Black moved, fearing to be jailed
For being without a pass after dark
In Johannesburg’s Joubert Park

A torch flashed in his face
Quickly establishing his race.
Too late to run
He was spun around
And pushed against a wall
By a big tall policeman.

Please Baas. Don’t call the van
I could be out of town quickly, if I ran.
Suddenly a push and a kick
“Run quick.”

Twenty years on
Apartheid’s gone
The policeman is now a civilian
Working in town.

The sun is setting slowly down
In a ball of crimson red.
Bringing dread
He must leave town quickly
Or he’ll be dead
With a knife in his back
Or a Kerrie on his head.

The City’s not safe after dark
For he has a Pass, printed by God
Embedded in his Page of Life
The DNA of being white.

In Joubert Park
A torch flashed in his face
Quickly establishing his race.
Too late to run
He was spun around
And pushed against the wall
By a big tall Black.

Please don’t kill me
I was the Policeman that let you go free
Suddenly a push and a kick
“Bugger off quick.”