Everyone’s head turned and followed your path when you entered the room. While they all turned back to their meals and conversations after you passed, you landed a couple of tables away from me and we locked eyes for a few magical seconds.

I was the tall blonde bearded man wearing tortoise shell glasses and a green, blue and white checked shirt. You were petite, with well-kept gray and brown feathers, and a lovely long black beak.

I must have looked silly sitting there frozen with my fork full of salad, inches from my open mouth, but I really wasn’t expecting you to capture my gaze so fully. Looking into your glossy black diamond eyes felt so familiar—I swear I’ve seen you before.

Do you ever perch in the ash trees in the Central Market parking lot? I drive the blue Acura.

I doubt you’ll ever see this, but in the slight chance you do, I wanted you to know that you have magnificent poise, a captivating presence, and remarkable courage. I have never seen another bird—male or female, big or small—get so close to a human wielding a plastic knife and fork, so obviously prepared to crush your beautifully slender body and pick out your little eyes if given the chance.

You probably get this all the time, but you truly are a bird of a different feather. To demonstrate such fearlessness for a few stray crumbs of cornbread and an abandoned sweet potato fry really makes me wonder how you live the rest of your life.

I’d love to find out.

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