Homework In science class we learned the hottest point of steam is at the tip of the teapot spout— where streams of swelling heat rupture the cooler air. After school, I do my homework upstairs in my room. My kid sister murmurs somewhere, playing family on her own. When the clock clicks four the stacks of the factory moan, and the sky gets smudged with smoke. Our dad works there. He’ll hit the bars along the way and then be home. Mom picks up her pacing across the kitchen floor; adjusts the thermostats again in the rooms below. Maybe today, she’ll have a kind word for wrath; or have made some extra cash. Or maybe, she’ll just sit with him and a beer ‘til dinner is served. The front door slams. I look out the window and click on the news. They say there’s a chance of storms rolling in; another station says it may be clear.
John Middlebrook lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he manages a consulting firm focused on non-profit organizations. He has been writing since he was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, where he also served on the staff of Chicago Review. His work has been published by Cleaver Magazine, Wilderness House Literature Review, Synchronized Chaos, and The Lake among others.