Totally Lila

From the first moment she was able to coax words out of her mouth, my Totally Lila has been quite the chatterbox, which let us know pretty early on that she’d have the gift of gab. That, and a flair for drama. Real talk: my daddy nicknamed her “Hollywood” not even three weeks after she was born because, well, the girl is theatrical. Not just when she’s trying to get someone’s attention, either; she’s a gifted storyteller—a kid who can, in a moment’s notice, whip up a costume and a narrative and put on an Oscar-worthy performance that would rival Quvenzhané Wallis’ movie star-turn. I’ve always pegged her as the daughter who could easily write screenplays, then star in and direct them. My little Hollywood.

But recently, she proved her skills extend beyond the screen and onto the page. This year, her 7th grade literature teacher has been teaching Lila and her fellow students all about poetry and showing them how to pen classics of their own. As afraid as she was to write haiku and sonnets, Lila tried her hand at them and, well, what do you know, she’s good at it. Really good. So good that she’s been acknowledged for her work four times in the past few months—an honor that makes her quite proud and makes me just giggle and swell with pride, too.


Lila’s latest recognition comes from celebrated children’s book author and poet Robyn Hood Black, who chose my daughter as a haiku poet of the month for April 2015.  In honor of her stellar haiku, Lila is being featured on Ms. Black’s site, with a short essay about her love of that specific form of poetry and, of course, a few delicious morsels of her work, including her very first haiku, my personal favorite:

broken sign
swinging in the wind

What Lila does with words is pure magic. I’m so very proud of my baby.

I encourage you to check out Lila’s Student Poet of the Month feature on Robyn Hood Black’s website. Click here to see her work and, if you’re so moved, leave a comment for my heart.

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

One Comment

  1. Do that, Totally Lila! Your poem made my heart skip a beat. Your mom said it was good so I was ready for good and got AMAZING! I can see, hear, smell, and feel your haiku. How’d you do that? Can’t wait to see what magical powers my little girl will have as she grows up.

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