“It was in Las Vegas that I saw my first hummingbird, Miss,” he told me with a note of wonder in his voice.

“Not in all the time you were in California?” I replied. My last trip to California, a warm Christmas that felt even warmer and prettier having come from bleak Michigan, surprised me with all of its birds. I had forgotten what a pleasure it was to live without seasons. I continued to interrogate him about his family–three older siblings, a dad he didn’t want to live with anymore, a step-dad in Mexico, and his mom going in and out of the hospital for a heart condition. She cries everytime he calls her.

We’re cautioned about letting work get to us. I find it impossible to compartmentalize my students entirely. It just so happened that we had a couple of beautiful little hummingbirds flit around our house all summer. I would be dumbstruck all over again that he had not just missed out on hummingbirds as a boy, but that he first saw one in Las Vegas. That’s not what you think o when you think of Sin City.


About hey miss

A teacher. A prison guard. I used to think that was like oil and water. Like lightening and metal. Some days it is. Some days it's magic.
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