Turtle Came to See Me

The first story I ever write
is a bright crayon picture
of a dancing tree, the branches
tossed by island wind.

I draw myself standing beside the tree,
with a colorful parrot soaring above me,
and a magical turtle clasped in my hand,
and two yellow wings fluttering
on the proud shoulders of my ruffled
Cuban rumba dancer's
fancy dress.

In my California kindergarten class,
the teacher scolds me: REAL TREES

It's the moment
when I first
begin to learn
that teachers
can be wrong.

They have never seen
the dancing plants
of Cuba.

Margarita Engle, "Turtle Came To See Me" from Enchanted Air.  Text copyright © 2015 by Margarita Engle.  Reprinted by permission of Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division. All rights reserved.
Source: Enchanted Air (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015)
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