He coughs incurably on the hardening light,
an old dog fox, still out at sparrow-fart,
tracking himself back to the wrecked spinney
on cursive paths italicised by fox-tang.
He has somewhere to go, things to re-verify:
the black-bagged rubbish tip's redolent swag;
crushed nettles' disposition; puckered
funguses which draw attention to themselves --
the huddled affluence darkness gifted him.
What can he make of it all in the lucid element
now flowering like frost inside his head,
the territory familiar but unpredictable?
Here objects grow obstinate and lean apart;
rigours abound, traps cocked to spring.
Here any sound will freeze his eyes wide open,
as though one blink might cost him everything.