Perhaps the inguinal canal was weakened
by the piano we hauled down three flights
with a chime and a plink, out to the lorry
where we rolled and smoked a spliff.
Or compromised by those concrete slabs
I lifted and laid with dad. Or charcoal bags,
hoisted and hefted into the van, delivered
to the kebab shops of North London.
Or the enormous man who slumped at my feet,
slung by an arm and leg onto the bed with help
from a hospital porter. I have a wedge of mesh
in my groin, angling for attention with its sharp dig,
its deep heat niggle. It is sure to outlast me with its
perfect memory, its unyielding adherence to form.