This next poem, "Barn Owl," is one of my annual Valentine [Day] poems. I've written 20 years worth of valentines, and "Barn Owl" is one of them. In each of these valentines, I try to either get the word "heart" or the color red or something like that. And you'll hear the "heart" coming out of this one.
High in the chaffy, taffy-colored haze
of the hayloft, up under the starry
nail-hole twinkle of the old tin roof,
there in a nest of straw and baling twine
I have hidden my valentine for you:
a white heart woven of snowy feathers
in which wide eyes of welcome open
to you as you climb the rickety ladder
into my love. Behind those eyes is
a boudoir of intimate darkness, darling,
the silks of oblivion. And set like a jewel
dead center in the heart is a golden hook
the size of a finger ring, to hold you
always, plumpest sweetheart mouse of mine.