Gethsemane (1867)

It could be I saw her, or maybe, I just wanted too.  It might be I whispered her name, a time or two, and that’s the way she rose, like a young lady, with “lace in her soul”.


She rises in swaddling cotton from reeds, with lace in her soul she follows the river, and somewhere close by she senses the bay, the place wicked boys come to play wicked games.  For what she remembers so cloudy in mind, the syllables of her name seem to rhyme.  It could be under the bridge, or maybe only due south through the gate in the mist, but somehow she only knows.  Her whispered name on a rose.  The one her daddy gave her in play, a garden for Christ he always would say.  For unto who is given so much, here by the swamp, now fare thee by luck.  The preacher would laugh, as he stayed, inside her forever, his large belly naked and grey, oh he played with a wicked game.  He taunted with a wicked game.


Her body fills wet from the surge of the bay, the suns almost up, and she must go away, but in her mind she prays.  The places at sixteen a girl could go, riding her horse with her bonnet to show.  Through Bagdad to Milton, the county boys know, she is a lovely tow, with the garden of Christ, on your arm. There you go, a smile upon your face.  The dear farmer’s daughter, with lace in her soul.  The humid hot sunshine, the streets all aglow.  Please make a way, her thoughts from the past begging how to know.  The place that she entered and what sin did sew, in all a wicked game.  In all it was a wicked game.


As she slips through the dawn, the mud cools her toes, her restless spirit, makes her a ghost.  She died under the waning Gibbous his hands on her throat, her nakedness displayed, white under the moon, she strayed.  And over and over the water it flows, a Sunday night missing, while they seek her by boat.  The preacher looking, the scratches hidden under his cloak.  He’s laid her all away.  In swaddling cotton, in reeds by the bay.  The garden of Christ, with lace in her soul, she gathered herself, refusing to play, those wicked, wicked games.  Those wicked games.


Gethsemane Simmons, was murdered, and hidden away near the East Bay, close to Bagdad, Florida, on Sunday, August 18, 1867.  There was a waning gibbous moon. – 08.18.2016 – דָּנִיֵּאל

38 thoughts on “Gethsemane (1867)

  1. i always think the branches and leaves of trees look like lace, against a full moon….perhaps it’s silhouetts of a soul leaving this earth
    haunting music seems to whisper her story….
    I too would like to sit down and talk to you… your stories seem to come through from the otherside …
    Take care…You Matter

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sad story, and there are many. It’s a lovely tribute you wrote that I read to the haunting voice of Grace. Do you recall the Holly Jones murder in Toronto about 15years ago? A few years ago, I photographed a tribute mural done in memory of her. It’s very beautiful & poignant. Every year on the anniversary of her death, I want to post the tribute mural. I thought for sure to turn off likes & comments. Then I wonder if people would like to comment, decently, honorably and with good will? Still, definitely no “likes”. Then I wonder if it is not right to do so? I would value your opinion on this.
    Understand please, I feel it’s not like reading prose. It’s all about images & how they convey.


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