By Gregory Anderson

“Did you hear that?”


“White-crowned sparrow. Sweet sound.”


My man is a bird-lover, but I’m not. We need rain, but it’s not in the forecast. “I should water the yard.”

“Oh, wow, an oriole!”

“Baseball player? It’s pretty far from Baltimore.”

“It must be migrating. Bright orange feathers.”

Our giant yew bushes are dark green when fully hydrated, but brown is creeping in. I unwind the garden hose and choose the “Full” setting: a sloppy, spraying gush. My dad liked to water, to relax.

A flash at my left is a hummingbird. It hangs in the air while poking into a flower. Then it zooms to the spray of water and stops, hovering above it. The outer droplets hit its invisible feet. Green iridescent feathers look like magic. I don’t move a muscle. It moves many but seems as still as an ornament – until it flies off.

Gregory Anderson lives in Chicago.