The Inner Ear

John Burnside

It never switches off; even asleep
we listen in to gravity itself.

Crossing a field is one long exercise
in equilibrium – a player’s grace –

though what we mean by that
has more to do

with music
than the physics we imagine.

A history of forest and the murk
of oceans, nice

adjustments
in the memory of bone

lead us to this: the gaze;
the upright form.

Lemur and tree-shrew linger in the spine
becoming steps; a track worn in the grass;

a moment’s pause
before the rain moves in.