The man stands alone at the intersection. He stands in the middle of the road between the entrance and exit of a large shopping mall in our town. I see him almost every weekend and in every kind of weather.

His haggard appearance is always covered within a sweatshirt hood. Sometimes though, when he lifts his head, one can see his wind-burned dirty face and the beard which has grown down to his chest.

He says nothing, asks for nothing. He holds a sign – words scrawled on a piece of cardboard:

“Lost my job.

Have a family.

Will work.”


Vehicles drive past him:  Tahoes, Yukons, Suburbans,  RAM trucks, sporty SUVs and showy Cadillacs. These cars and trucks often drive by with a single passenger talking on a cell phone or listening to loud thumping music.

No hands extend to the man. Car windows remain closed to the winter’s cold.

There was one time, as I drove past the mall, that I had seen two local policemen talking to the man. They were trying to get him to move along.  Later that day the man was gone. Yet, I would see him return on another day and then another and another.

The man will say “God bless you,” when you give him money.

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