- A CASE OF MISSING FAITH -
I am a Private Eye by trade…
 'Least that's what's on my door—
A job for those with gutsy nerve
 And brains to know the score.

A tough profession, to be sure,
 But one I'm proud to hold—
There's gratitude in lieu of cash
 And thrills instead of gold.

Tonight, behind my borrowed desk,
 I sense a coming rain—
Yesterday the rent was due,
 Today it's due again.

The knob turns on my office door...
 I seldom keep it locked—
There's not much point since all I own
 Is either sold or hocked.

Then, like a sultry summer breeze,
 This girl comes drifting in—
Her raccoon coat hugs every curve,
 Her eyes are dark as sin.

"I need your help," her soul implores
 Through lips of crimson ice,
"I think I have been victimized
 And seek astute advice."


"Please have a seat." I sit up straight
 And point her towards a chair,
"Now, tell me what your problem is
 So both of us can care."


"I fear that someone stole my Faith,"
 The mournful lady cries,
"I had it once, but now it's gone—
 That's all I can surmise."


She opens wide a beaded purse
 And digs through the debris
Until she finds a glowing speck
 And holds it out to me.

"This grain of Faith is all I have—
 No more can I accrue,
But if you help me find the rest
 I'll give this speck to you."


I take the Faith she hands to me
 And tuck it safe away;
"Okay, let's try to reconstruct
 The day things went astray.

Can you recall just where you were
 When Faith was with you still?"

She chews her lip and then replies,
 "The Sunset Bar & Grill."

Nick Silver's place! I should've known
 He'd be involved in this;
I grab my raincoat and my hat—
 "We'd best get goin', Miss."

We hurry to the Sunset Bar—
 A neon garbage heap
Where smoke is thick and booze is thin
 And cost of life is cheap.

I take my client's hand in mine
 And pull her through the crowd
To where Nick Silver tosses dice
 While cursing God aloud.

He throws the dice as we approach
 And 'Snake eyes' rolls up red,
But as the crowd around him groans,
 Nick grins at us instead.

"I figured you'd be comin' here,"
 He hisses through his teeth,
"But I ain't got a thing to hide
 Or pretext to bequeath."


"But I was duped," my client cries,
 "I didn't know the cost!"
Sneers Nick, "We ain't responsible
 For Faith misplaced or lost.

"I operate within the Law—
 My business is legit,
So if you gambled here and lost,
 Don't blame me—not one bit."


Just then I spot a golden trail—
 Some granules of light
Which lead through Nick's revolving door
 And weave into the night.

Again, I take her trembling hand
 And lead her towards the door;
"Things may have ended here," I say,
 "But something came before…"

We track her Faith up lonely streets,
 Through alleys curved and straight,
Until we reach a graveyard fence
 Complete with rusty gate.

"I know this place," the girl admits
 With undertones of dread,
"When I was young I mixed my Faith
 With voices of the dead."


Behind the tombs a steeple looms
 As if to point the way—
"Now I remember!" she exclaims,
 "I came here once to pray!"

I follow her into the church
 And stroll between the pews
As sunrise shines through colored glass
 And paints us in bright hues.

In celebration, 'way up front,
 The girl recoups her loss—
Her missing Faith lay at the foot
 Of Christ's eternal cross.

"I offer you my gratitude,"
 My former client cries,
"I never would have found my Faith
 Without your watchful eyes."


I chuckle deep. "It wasn't lost—
 You pledged it long ago;
God kept it for you in reserve
 For when your own ran low.


"It was YOU who got misplaced—
 Your Faith was here, you see,
But God made sure you'd always have
 One single speck for me."


I tip my hat to say goodbye
 And stroll into the morn,
Returning to the gritty life
 To which I have been born.

But walking down the dusty streets
 My soul begins to sing—
What better job could I possess
 Than sleuthing for a King?

A note adorns my office door…
 My apprehension grows…
It says somebody paid my rent!

 ...But who, do you suppose?