The poem is actually just a few segments from my favorite poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson's In Memoriam I pretty much picked the segments that had to do with guilt.
A lot of the poem can be found here:
The story is based on my little novel thingy, "Behind Blue Eyes" that I desperately need to revise. I guess I decided to try another way of Simon confessing the sin he believes he commited as a child.
I sometimes hold it half a sin
To put in words the grief I feel;
Simon clasps his hands, takes in a deep sigh, and looks back up at Greg, “There’s nothing wrong. Really.”
Greg leans back in the stiff blue chair. He notices to his right, a woman talking to an inmate, perhaps her husband…explaining that she had no more money. She can hardly support their three children let alone find a better lawyer.
“Simon…” Greg whispers. He has a second thought and doesn't continue.
Simon begins to feel the onset of a headache and a slight dizziness, “What is it?”
“I wish you’d tell me what’s going on. What’s been going on with you, all these years.”
For words, like Nature, half reveal
And half conceal the Soul within.
“Nothing’s been going on.”
Greg diverts his angry eyes, “Yes there has Simon…” he tries to contain his urge to scream, “I know you’ve been haunted by something. I want you to remember that I’m your best friend and I’d do anything to help you…if you’d just let me. If you just trusted me.”
A hand that can be clasped no more—
“I’ve always trusted you, Greg.” His foggy head clears up and he wishes to God it won't – praying his body will take action and faint, no matter how embarrassing it would be.
Greg gets up, “I’ve got a lot of things to do today, if you need to talk…well, I’ll be here tomorrow anyway.”
Behold me, for I cannot sleep,
“Greg!” Simon grabs him by the arm, “Please don’t leave yet. Not this way. I don’t want you angry with me.”
Greg barley allows a slight smile to cross his lips, “Oh man, we’re just being two overdramatic women aren’t we?”
And like a guilty thing I creep
“There are things I haven’t told you,” Simon admits, “But I just can’t right now. I can’t face them. I’ve done some horrible things.”
Greg eases back into his chair, “Simon,” he consentrates on the lifeless blue eyes, “There’s nothing you could have done that would be wrong.”
Simon massages his forehead with the oncoming migrane, “Don’t talk about things you don’t know. You don’t know what I’ve done.”
Simon keeps his eyes closed for a moment and opens them to find Greg retreating for the door – not even taking a glance back.
At earliest morning to the door.
I envy not the beast that takes
His license in the field of time,
Another night in the hell-hole and Simon’s eyes stay completely open. Sleep is only an option when his migranes become so bad he passes out.
Simon hears of the men in the jail having done horrendous things to people…to young children and those men hardly survive. Already rumors and warnings are spreading to Simon that he better be careful…the molestation charges brought against him in the kidnapping of Joey Sater, makes every night one closer to the last.
Unfettered by the sense of crime,
To whom a conscience never wakes;
But pleading guilty is simply not an option. Only criminals are guilty – what Simon did was only to protect Joey. Sure, he misinterpreted the situation, but that doesn't make him a criminal.
Be near me when my light is low,
The next morning, Benny shows up with Greg and nearly pounces on Simon when the guards let them in. Simon smiles in his confused and guilty way.
“How are you? You’re not getting gang-raped are you?”
Greg smacks him in the head, “That’s an aweful thing to say!”
Simon laughs, “No, thank God.”
Benny shrugs, “See, Greg…it was just a little joke.”
“I’m not in the mood for jokes,” Greg winces.
“Then stay out of it,” Benny snaps.
Simon grins, “Ok you two, lets have a nice conversation here.”
“Just like old times,” Benny sighs.
Simon’s grin suddenly vanishes.
When the blood creeps, and the nerves prick
And tingle; and the heart is sick,
“I’m sorry for this whole thing.”
Greg pulls out a package of gum, “Please, let’s not talk about that right now.”
Simon glances at the package, “What is that?”
“Oh, it’s gum to fight of his nicotine craving,” Benny replies.
“Did I do that?” Simon whispers.
Greg pops one in his mouth, “Do what?”
“Make you start smoking again?”
And all the wheels of Being slow.
“No Simon,” Greg replies, “I make up my own decisions. No one makes me do anything.”
Benny snickers, “Oh, real reassuring, Greg. Simon’s not an idiot.”
Be near me when the sensuous frame
Is racked with pangs that conquer trust;
“I never explained the incident with my brother…”
Greg immediately turns on Simon, “No, you never did. Why the hell not?”
Benny decides not to interfere this time. Simon doesn't need protection anymore, he needs intervention.
“How can I tell you something like that when it’s not even clear to me?”
“Don’t give me that bull. It was clear for you – you lied to me, to us, when you told us how your father died.”
“I didn’t lie,” Simon defends, “I just didn’t tell you everything.”
“Well, keeping important things out is pretty close to lying.”
“Dammit Greg, stop pushing me! It’s my business! You don’t need to know every thought that crosses my mind!”
And Time, a maniac scattering dust,
“This wasn’t just a thought that crossed your mind! You’ve held this since you were six years old! Things like this don’t go away…I know you thought about it everyday of your life.”
And Life, a Fury slinging flame.
“What could you possibly know?! You weren’t there! You didn’t see how it happened!”
Greg leans in close to him, “Then take me there.”
I wrong the grave with fears untrue:
“What do you want to hear?” Simon leans to close the gap between him and Greg with a menace that he’s never felt in himself before.
“I want to hear all of it.”
“I killed them.”
Benny’s stomach churns.
Greg doesn’t faulter, “Why would you think that?”
Shall love be blamed for want of faith?
Simon moves away from the glare, “When you do magic, you always correct it. You don’t let things just disappear and not bring them back. I never got to finish the reverse spell. I made my brother disappear and I never brought him back.”
There must be wisdom with great Death:
“My father blamed himself and that’s why he drank, and that’s why he smashed his car into a tree. My mother blames herself for not stopping him, for openly blaming him as well. But I’ve always known, that it was my fault from the beginning. I didn’t want it to happen…I wanted a brother…I’d never hurt my father, but that’s the way it happened. We can’t be forgiven just because we were ignorant. I deserve to rot in here – the punishment is just about done, they won’t haunt me again.”
The dead shall look me through and through.