A PHOTO OF BORIS They posed him against a background of drapery, stood him on the seat of a chair with curved arms. His hair was parted and neatly combed. He wore a dark jacket with two rows of buttons, dark button-trimmed trousers, and sturdy shoes. They put a hoop—-larger than himself—-around his neck. The fingers of one hand curled around it. In the other, he held a short stick of the sort used by bigger boys to turn a hoop along a road. His expression was serious, puzzled, maybe alarmed: Why do they want me standing here, with a hoop around my neck? On the back, a line of my Grandmother’s illegible scrawl —I think in German—-and one word, set apart: “Boris.” There is no Boris in the family tree. The photo was attached with dots of glue to a page in a cheap photo album discovered in a box in a closet among my mother’s things. It was Grandma’s. Perhaps Mother never looked at it. She never showed it to us. The cover was broken, the pages crumbling. I know how paper can decay. I pried all the photos out. Most were not labeled. Grandma knew who they were: People in the Old Country around a table, people haying on the farm in East Germany where Johann ended up after the war, a uniformed man who might be the German cousin who went down with his ship in 1945. Only a few were labeled— Onkel Herman, Onkel Hans’s wife, Pa and Frieda. And Boris. I thought to toss it with the unlabeled photos— the sort of nameless photos that pile up, that we pass on endlessly. But I cannot discard Boris. What was he doing there, in Grandma’s album, with Johann and August and Wanda, Great-grandfather Joseph, Tante Helen, and Grandma herself, stout in her printed dress, standing with the nameless Sunday School teachers in front of the Cleveland Lutheran Church.