Night Falls

One bird circles above the synagogue. It must be admiring the view of it and the mosque side by side. Blackbirds fly on and off the tree, covering the gravestones of Jews that lived and died on Surinamese soil, centuries past. Chanting their night melody, they fly in groups or solo. It’s like they’re having an evening chat.

The circling bird has flown away, out of sight and into the evening. Here and there the sky blue is blocked by clouds of grey and rays of the setting sun have painted them red. More birds arrive as others leave. But it is still a busy congress of chirps. No matter how relaxing it is, my shoulders can’t seem to settle down. Maybe because I need a floating river instead of a stagnate stinking gutter. I cannot believe the Jews have let it come to this. 

The moon let’s the sun display her as half a buttock. As the chirping and flapping orchestra goes on, a night lamp sets on buzzing some safety into the night. Above the Jew tree, sun baked clouds shimmer and quickly cover the slow changing of shades into nighttime.

I picture old Paramaribo in my head with carriages and horses, slaves and merry women. I picture oil lamps being held up to light alleys and bottles of cherry or brandy. The sun baked clouds have turned s light red, close to pink. They are slowly fading in their path to the moon.

The flying birds create a picture of small black plus signs against the evening sky. Their numbers are lessening and the clouds are neon-pink…almost non-existent.


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