Fly Over


The screech of a predator makes Aki jerk toward the noise. When two shotgun blasts follow, she looks to me for reassurance. We are on a wetlands trail near the airport. In minutes a morning flight to Seattle will fly over our heads. I want to tell Aki that the screech and bangs were meant to clear migratory birds from the runway.


The noisy show doesn’t stir a raft of American widgeons feeding on the nearby Mendenhall River. These migratory ducks are another sign of spring as is the daily shrinkage of night. Frost whitens the still dead stalks of grass that cover the wetlands. But tough shoots of green grass have already started their climb into summer.


Four minutes late, the southbound Alaska Airlines flight climbs off the runway and over our heads. Inside, one of Aki’s other humans looks down on familiar landmarks from an unfamiliar angle but we are too close to the flight path to be seen by any of the passengers.


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