Family Portrait by Kathi Crawford

Family Portrait

We stood a crooked line across the porch step—
our father at the mill;
our mother held the camera.

She carefully arranged us for our annual photo session;
dressed me, the only girl, in all-white overalls,
laced-up shoes.

She staged a picture-pattern portrait each year;
light colors for me and dark for my brothers.

The two of us younger kids always clustered
around our second oldest brother knowing
the way he protected the ones he loved.

The oldest always gazed away from the camera—
from my mother’s eye—

She held these zigzag-cut snapshots
with glue and photo corners
in her motherhood scrapbook—

until the fifth, another boy, was born.

After my parents divorced,
the anthology of our family

was found in a dresser drawer;
pictures scattered—

the context and timeline
ripped apart.


Kathi Crawford spends her days as a business and career coach and, by night, writes poetry, flash fiction and creative nonfiction. She hopes to create dialogue through her writing for the challenges of our time and as individuals. Her poetry has been featured in Drunk Monkeys. You can find her on Instagram @kathicrawford or visit her blog at or website:

One thought on “Family Portrait by Kathi Crawford

Leave a Reply