“Lilies, Roses, and the Keeper of the Wood”

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

Two beds lay side by side in the midst of a tangled wood;

One with lilies, one with roses—an overshadowed rainbow.

Years of neglect left them choking on weeds

Till the Keeper of the Wood happened by.

Moved by their beauty and pitying their plight,

He devoted himself to their care.

With attention to the lilies first,

He loosened the soil to remove undesired vegetation;

Greater care might have been taken for

The white ones were lost to impatience.

Fertilization of the bed followed–

With the day lilies responding best,

Increasing their blooms five-fold.roses


Attention was next turned to the roses

And the process repeated;

Again the white flowers were sacrificed!

One would think he’d have learned from experience…


The Keeper of the Wood returned daily

To tend to his blossoming claim;

Roses, red and pink, flourished under his care,

Yet the yellow ones caught his fancy,

As did the orange and yellow lilies.                                                                             orange lily

He smiled to see their transformation,

Pleased that his efforts had paid off…

Summer days found him reclining bedside,

Plucking here and poking there, enjoying their fragrance–

What a happy time for him!


Soon the trees offered a colorful competition–

Bedecked in scarlet, accessorized in gold,

They lent a regal air o’er the garden.

Pruning time came and the Keeper of the Wood smiled

While trimming delicate branches and bulbs…

Often, without thinking, he cut so deeply that many perished;

The rest were lost to the cold.

Only Spring would bring notice

When he’d wonder where they’d gone,

Not recognizing the role he’d played.


One comment on ““Lilies, Roses, and the Keeper of the Wood”

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