The tree outside Kayla's room in Brooklyn wants to help make her feel at home.
|The Empathetic Tree
When Kayla moved to Brooklyn from Miami in the fall,
she promptly told her mother, “I don’t like this place at all.”
“It’s cold, it’s dark, the trees are bare. The ocean’s nowhere near
and Kylee, Jules and Grandpa live so far away from here!”
“We’ll visit them at Christmas and I know you’ll make new friends.
Just give it time; you'll change your mind before the winter ends.”
But Kayla muttered, “Doubtful,” as she stomped up to her room.
She stared outside her window, “Will your branches ever bloom?”
For days then weeks in Brooklyn, Kayla cried each night in bed.
She wished for waves and sunshine; she saw empty limbs instead.
She couldn’t blame her mother for the move; they had to go.
Max offered her the job; of course she couldn’t tell him no.
So Kayla, over time, decided maybe it was best
to keep her sadness to herself; tell Mother all the rest.
The tree outside her window, though, could see the tears she wept,
and guess from her expressions all the secrets that she kept.
He’d always lived in Brooklyn, but the birds he housed would squawk
of places where the flowers grew and bloomed around the clock.
If he could make his flowers grow despite the time of year,
then Kayla’s mood may brighten when she sees his buds appear.
He made a plea to earth and sky to send him what he needed
to bring Miami to this child. By morn his branches beaded.
When Kayla woke, she looked outside, “Those can’t be buds!” she said.
She rubbed her eyes, she looked again, and then she shook her head.
Right after school she ran upstairs to check in on her tree.
It bore the biggest yellow blooms. She asked, “How can this be?”
That night the tree thanked all who helped to make his wish come true:
to see her beaming ear to ear, as children ought to do.