By Peter Davis
We passed a hearse bedecked with fake flowers as we began our climb up Morne Michel. Heels and ties and tuxes walk down the stones and mud to gather by the hearse at the gate of the dam. The brown soup that skirts the lakeshore contrasts with the red flowers of Delonix regia. The verdant green leaves, black bean pods, white smooth bark, and tendril red flowers help to complete the color pallete of a Haitian summer day. Tall black suits gather as blans quiver with Osprey packs and indecision, a woman begins to wail. The stoic suits are increased in increments of one or two from across the wall of the Peligre dam. The plastic floral hearse begins its two-step procession across the cement. Trumpets, cymbals, and haunting faux marching band music act as a vanguard for the deceased. Wailing and tall suits bring up the rear of the hearse. Blans hesitate, then advance to bypass to the right and we begin the muddy back-slide hike up Michael’s Mountain.