Caretaker of the Garden and the Library

by Caleb Kneuer

I must tend to my garden.
They are fragile, my blossoms.
Yet I must maintain my library.
They need me, my books.
Stay with us, whisper the words.
But what about your flowers? ask the bees.

They are persuasive, the bees.
They wish all the world a garden.
Yet, they meet their match with words.
The bees beg, imagine a world of blossoms.
The words remind of my duties to the books
Tending just as much to the library

They don’t understand the library –
No, the bees,
They can’t appreciate my books.
All they know is the garden.
All they care for are the blossoms.
Yet it is the same with the words.

Just as the bees are, so are the words
All they care for is the library.
They have millions of versions of “blossom,”
But none of the love of the bees.
They narrow their eyes suspiciously at my mention of the garden
Never daring to leave the shelter of their books.

That is their only love, books.
Such is the life of the words.
They hiss in anger when I leave for the garden,
Crying you’re betraying the library.
I ignore their pleas, and the taunts of the bees.
I remind myself that I tend to both books and blossoms.

I water and prune, maintain my blossoms.
I dust and organize, tend to my books
The bees
And the words
Not understanding my dual devotion to library
And garden.