The dad cooks every night and the mom helps the kids with their school work, she keeps them on track. The dog sits looking mournful, the cat disinterested. Dad retreats to the den while the chicken marinates, lights a stick of incense, and helps the dog get a bone out of the basket. The dog communicated she needed help with her eyes and the dad responded. Dad played music from a wireless speaker with his feet on the coffee table and a beer. The dog wrapped the empty food bowl with her nose so it rang like a bell. The youngest child needed help opening a PDF and the mom came to her aid. Coats hung from the hall tree though soon they’d be needed less, just for nights outside by the fire. Green enveloped the house in layers of leaves. Birdsong thickened on the bookends of the day. The dad wore the same socks it seemed and started to stagger in the morning like someone you wouldn’t trust on the street. Hair askew, barefoot on wet pavement, a rank aura of neglect.