Not far from where I live in east central Illinois, the father of Abraham Lincoln lies buried. Though I've lived out here in this open land for more than two decades, I had not visited Thomas Lincoln's grave until last year, after my father died. He is buried in the east where I'm from, and I guess I needed a nearby place to mourn. Or maybe I just missed my father that fall day I stopped by tiny Shiloh Cemetery to stand where Abraham Lincoln once stood. That great man knew words and how to say them, and I began to imagine his voice as he lowered his head and whispered.