• Lost Blossoms by Patti Crouch

    In the family portrait, my grandmother sits prim and pretty in a white party dress, hair fastened by bows, eyes solemn. Behind her is a wall of black suits, slick-haired brothers with faces like bulldogs. Her father stares at the camera, thin-eyed and well fed; her mother curves her shoulders forward, perhaps hunching around the baby whose long christening gown glows white against her black dress. The baby was an afterthought, raised once the sons had graduated and departed, the only daughter allowed an education. My grandmother went to work at twelve in a hat shop, crying for months as her dreams fell away like petals. I imagine her behind…