Lincoln above us

Statue of Lincoln in Cleveland, Ohio

Statue of Lincoln in Cleveland, Ohio 

I went there to take a photograph of the Lincoln statue. I’ve been there before. And as you can see- I did take a picture. But this time was different. There was a homeless man “camped” out by the side of the statue. Well, I found out he was homeless. He didn’t ask me anything. He wasn’t looking for a hand-out. Actually, I started the conversation with a simple “hello.” We started talking. He had lived the “American Dream” at one time in his life. He had a wife. He had a family. He owned a house. Hey, he had a job- worked for one of the “big three.” He was “let go” from his job. Savings got exhausted. Things got sold. At the end, he was living with his wife and kids at a hotel. He had a week “paid-up.” After that ran out- so did his wife-and his kids went with her. He has been on the streets of Cleveland for three years. He is surviving- shelters-food kitchens- you get the drift. So there we sat under the Lincoln. I asked him about Lincoln. He liked the spot. He also said Abraham Lincoln was his favorite person of history. He noted that Lincoln knew what it was to be poor- growing up that way. He wondered what happened to the country that Lincoln gave his life for. He wondered how it was that he- and countless others like him- were homeless and hopeless. What would Lincoln think? What would Lincoln do? I wondered that too as we both sat under Lincoln. We then both sat in silence as the sun began to set in Cleveland. Tomorrow would be another day like this day for my friend. I would be heading back to my home in Michigan in just an hour or so. I wonder if I shall ever see my friend again…

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