June 16th, 2011

It sat on the same shelf where it always had — a cut-glass picture frame with a portrait photograph inside.

On the day it had been put on that shelf, the sun shone watery but too bright in the winter sky. That was the striking memory, a tiny item from a red-letter day that was supposed to be special for a happy reason, but became memorable for a sad one.

How many people — friends, neighbors, kin — had wondered what might have been done, that day or in the days leading up to it, to stem the tide of a family history?

Seventeen years later, the other shoe had finally dropped.

But the photograph remained.

Photo by Amy Palko.

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