Chin Up

He’d reached the wood scrubbed up and clean,
still drinking as a late sun flared
on windows like acetylene
as if the dusk could be repaired,
while further in, turned submarine,
thick shrubs clung to a footpath where
he passed out as the pills kicked in,
a dead man in cheap summerware
amongst the crows that kept an eye
on all such things that fall behind
the wood’s last bits of tattered sky
snapped shut in its ramshackle blind.

Dried berries, ivy, roots and stones
were mixed up with him long before
a fox on heat nosed out his bones,
a cold-snap broke his brittle jaw
swung open now to grin at flies
or, chin up, take a swig of rain
before the tides of bluebells rise
and, sober, he goes down again.