Sometimes, when no one is there, it starts. The creak of wood on wood could be mistaken for a draft or the wind through the panes, but the windows are on the other side of the room and besides, it’s not windy out. The leaves are sagging with the doldrums of summer and bees are exhausted by their own unsteady swerving through heavy-headed blossom.
Anyway, the movement is more regular than breezes. A rhythm: chirrup forward, scrape back, chirrup forward, scrape back. The amplitude of the motion grows as does the sound. Now tipping forward, now leaning back, the frequency the same but the swings growing wilder, creaks become rattles that echoes themselves. Back and forth, more and more, teetering on the front legs, almost overshooting the balance point on the return. A continual case of last minute recovery, speeding through the middle ground, a change in direction at the extremes. Inevitably, the displacement from equilibrium is too great. On a backwards swing, it goes too far, the centre of gravity slips past stability and it crashes, clatters, falls to the floor.
What is Present, not precious?