Song For My Father

January 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

In my last entry, I mentioned a Facebook post by a friend about the passing of her father. Her post got me to thinking of my own father.

My father left for good when I was five, so I never really got to know him, and I don’t know that much about him. I have but a handful of memories of the man who helped bring me into this world.

One of the things I do remember about him is that he worked for a time as a private investigator. For years, I had his private investigator’s handbook, which looking back seems like some sort of textbook for a correspondence course on how to be a private investigator.

I don’t know much about the work he did, though my mother did tell me that he did some work (security, perhaps?) during the 1960 Democratic convention in Los Angeles. That vague memory, coupled with my having just finished reading Elvis Costello’s fascinating memoir, resulted in the following scribbles.

Private Eye

He sits in the shadows
Watching the silhouettes come and go
Alone in the silence
As if watching a pantomime show
He’s on the job again
Just a favor for a friend
Who thinks his wife is stepping out on him

He lives vicariously through others
While his own life passes him by
Seeing the world through filtered glances
Caught with his jaundiced private eye

He sifts through the refuse
Trying to fit all the parts into place
Looking for answers
Hoping to put a name to the face
There on the other side
Wondering what’s there to hide
Forgetting we all have something buried deep

He looks to see beneath the surface
But never asking himself why
So much he never shows the public
Only seen by his private eye

Just on the edge of polite society
Looking where others fear to tread
Into a world not for the likes of you and me
Inhabited by fools and walking dead

Another night ended
Another layer of humanity stripped
Behind the curtain
Looking to make sure he hasn’t slipped
Renting out by the day
But he’s the one who will pay
Wondering if he’ll ever be clean again

Trying to keep the darkness hidden
And find the truth beyond the lie
Hoping to come into the sunlight
He can’t see with his private eye

© 2016 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.


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