A moment before the sparrow rustles its feathers and scatters into the wind

You take back your offer.

I pause--

A breathless hope against retreat becomes a silent plea

an aching glance to search for eyes that do not meet my own yet

sense my humanity

A dashed dream: your delicate talons dancing upon dead leaves toward me

But you withdraw,

your twitching wings threatening,

my heart snapping like twigs underfoot as I inch

closer

slowly

Two steps forward, then a thousand flaps away

too slow

to touch the silky sheen

or polished, pointed

beak

Invisible

impossible

as the boundary I crossed.