An owl,
or at least his eye,
peers out

of the plank
nailed crosswise,
once a sign,

though the letters
that read Keep Out
have weathered away.

Sun and wind
have satined
the wood —

pine, I think,
though in dusk
it's not so easy

to see clearly
or confidently say —
but I guess

what I thought feathers
at first are just seams
along the grain,

because if it were,
in fact, an eye —
an owl also and talons

close by —
the world would storm
through it dead center,

directing it to fly
and forage, hunger
being the heart of all

owl-lore, even here
on the near and forbidden
edge of the western

woods, where I
have not quite lost
my way.