which bent my back and sloped my shoulders
until my twentieth year when they gave me a second
which at least balanced the load.
Then they started coming thick and fast:
500 miles walked between my desk and the photocopier.
20,000 cups of tea served.
6 months sat in traffic.
40 years since I last did a cartwheel.
I am one of those men you see in loose suits
cut from the cloth of faded office furniture
pockets, sleeves and trouser legs bulging with stones.
When I head for the door a trainee opens it for me.
Later he smiles when the manager hands him a smooth flat pebble.
He tosses it in the air with a flick of the wrist,
puts it in his pocket and continues with a jaunty stride.