Kodiak Raft Trip

We paid extra

For a float trip day
Down a long silver river
Flowing from a high mountain lake

Guided by Aaron and teenage Faith
Oldest son and youngest daughter
Of the lodge owners

Down the river on a raft
During salmon run
In late August

Sure to be salmon
Alive and dead
And bears, fishing

First, to get to the lake

The float plane landed
In the ocean cove
Taxied onto the gravel beach

Gear loaded, we glided up
Over mountain meadows
To the high lake

Aaron and Heather did everything
While we watched
Tourists, paying to be pampered

Thirty-something Aaron
With 15 and more years experience
Remarked the low water

“It’s been a dry summer.
Driest in years, drier every year now.
We’ll be lucky to see any bears.”

We saw lots of decaying salmon
Doing their part
To enrich the ecosystem

We saw some live salmon
Doing their part
To continue the species

We caught rainbow trout
We caught Dicken’s fish
Pink polka-dotted Dolly Varten

We saw no bears that day

Time and again

Aaron and Heather walked the raft
Over rocks covered with more
Dead fish than flowing water

While we paying customers
Sat royally ill at ease
In the bottoming raft

That night, back at the lodge
We asked if the dry summers
Were a symptom of climate change

“Climate change is ridiculous.”
The climate is always changing.
It’s just a string of dry summers.”

Said a gently smiling Pam
As her family
Nodded in knowing agreement

“Come to the table
Dinner is ready.”

“Let us pray.”

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