Closed book

Old photos. In a battered brown portfolio. Filled with faces I have never seen. Some of my father as a young boy. A window into a boy I never knew. Photos of him in knickers, at his wood lathe, in the army, with his father, and even one with his mother.
Photos that my aunt guarded, and never shared. Photos I have never seen.
Photos that were asked for many times after my aunt died, and each request casually passed off- unanswered.
Photo that held mysteries that will never be solved.
Ancestral photos of people I have never seen. Old report cards, passports, visas. From Russia, New York, Philadelphia.
But one photo in the pile- a photo of the grandfather I never knew- with a row of children assembled in chronological order- my Uncle Zaum, my Aunt Nomi, and my dad. And then- one more child standing in between my Uncle and Aunt- a face that was clearly related to my father, aunt and uncle- but whose story and name will now forever remain a mystery. A book that closed when my father died.