Go For It, Always

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“Mom? I wrote a poem.” She says, sliding a cocoa lock behind one ear.

Her almond eyes, that mirror my husband’s in every way, are serious.

“Do you want to show me?” I ask, settling beside her on the floor.

She nods, tilting her chin -and her clipboard- towards my eyes. A writer revealing a piece of her heart.

I’m ready to praise, when she halts me.

“I wish I could publish this.” She breathes, inflating a dream. “But I don’t have to.” She adds, deflating it just as quickly.

My move.

I can fill her with words that she doesn’t crave.

Or, I can open the door, whispering, Go for it. 

So we sat together shoulder to shoulder, flexing and fixing and pitching Kayli’s poem to an amazing site, Vox Poetica.

And I wanted her poem to be accepted, of course I did.

But what I really wanted was for her to feel that rush.

That uncomfortable heart tug that you feel when you believe in yourself with every fiber of your being. So much so, that you have to go for it.

And that photo of pure joy?

Is Kayli reading her gorgeous acceptance letter from editor Annmarie Lockhart, who wrote, “I do love when I can publish the poetry of young people. It is one of the things that makes me happiest.”

Kayli’s poem is live today at Vox Poetica, and this family would just like to say, Way to go Kayli, and Go for it, always!

Kayli will be reading and responding to all comments today.

That’s what authors do, right?


By Kayli Adina Breen

It sparkles in my eyes

Like a stream that was lifted

Up up up

On a rock or a thin cliff

It is so beautiful

Some short

Some long

I love waterfalls.

Kayli Breen is a seven year old from Minnesota. She lives with her mom, dad, sister Chloe, brother Brody, and dog Louie. Kayli loves writing, rocks, rock climbing, and swimming.


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  1. Way to go, sweet Kayli! I’m *so* proud of you! xo

  2. Great job, Kayli! Love you!

  3. Such a beautiful poem. She inherited your gift!

  4. That is a beautiful poem Kayli. Congratulations on your feature over at Vox Poetica! Well done! :)

  5. Oh my goodness!!! Congratulations!!!
    It is a beautiful poem…I love waterfalls too.
    And, Galit, you are a wonderful mother to help Kayli go for her dreams!!

  6. Kayli, you have your mother’s writing spirit and soul. Love the poem, and congratulations on getting published!!

    (Galit, you must be oh-so-proud!)

  7. Doesn’t it make your heart sing when your kids have such joy in their lives …
    congrats to you both xxx

  8. Kayli, you are a wonderful writer and a fantastic poet!! You are so much like you mom, it’s truely beautiful. Keep up the great writing and there will ALWAYS be someone who is honored to read your words!!

    (Galit, you’ve done an outstanding job here. Kudos to you too!)

  9. oooh what a great poem!! waterfalls are awesome!

  10. Kayli, I absolutely love your poem. I can just see the waterfall sparkling in my mind when I read it! Congratulations.

  11. Kayli, I hope when my daughter gets a little older, she’s as brave and as talented as you are. Congratulations! I hope it’s the first in a long line of published pieces!

  12. Congratulations, Kayli. It’s a lovely poem and I’m not surprised — at all — it was published.
    Keep up the impressive work! : )

  13. Way to go Kayli! Beautiful poem from a beautiful girl. I love water falls, too!!

  14. Go Kayli!! That is an AWESOME poem, and I’m thrilled Vox Poetica published it. May it be the first of many to follow.

  15. It’s so GOOD!!! I feel like a proud mother over here…just look at those adjectives, the insightful thoughts…love love love!

  16. Step aside, Mom, and make room for another writer. There’s another person living under your roof who has a beautiful way with words!

    Kayli, that was beautiful and oh, so, lyrical.

    I wanted to tell you that I was about 8 years old when I wrote a poem for a contest; it won for my age category. Oh so many years have passed, and I’m still writing poetry and getting it published from time to time. Last year, over 40 years after that first contest, I entered one of my poems in another contest and it won.

    So you see, once the words are in you, they’ll always be there…to peek their head out once in a while and be shared with many people!

    Great work, and I’m so glad that the people at Vox Poetica recognized that too.

  17. Jennifer Rodriguez says:


    Your poem is brilliant! I love it! Good for you for going for it and congrats on being published- that is quite an accomplishment!

    Jen Rodriguez

  18. Kayli, “It sparkles in my eyes like a stream that was lifted.” What a beautiful, unique way to describe a waterfall. I also love how you point out (very accurately) that even though waterfalls all look different, they are all beautiful in their own way. Congratulations to you!

  19. Way to go! Keep writing; you have a beautiful gift to share with the world!

  20. Kayli-
    This is beautiful. I can see the waterfall sparkling in my mind. You have a gift and I hope you will do us the honor of sharing more of your work with us in the future.
    In the meantime, tell your mom to check out New Moon Girls for you. It’s a magazine and online forum for girls your age where you can publish your work and see work from other girls…and connect with other aspiring writers. You will love it :)

  21. Way to go Kayli!! Such beautiful thoughts and words for such a young lady! Congratulations for getting your poem published. I kinda feel like a proud Momma too since your mom is my friend and I can feel how proud she is. Keep writing, sweet girl!

  22. Way to go Kayli. That poem is just beautiful.

  23. Well that just put one huge smile on my face. I love it Kayli! Congratulations. You have a gift for writing and what a privilege to read your first published piece of art.

  24. Barbara Edstrom says:

    Kayle,the peom is simply wonderful! The image of a stream lifting up to a raifall is amazing! Congratulations! I knew you as an adorable 2 year old and here you are a lovely 7 year old!

  25. Standing ovation! Or is it standing finger snaps! Super great job!

  26. Auntie Tam says:

    Congratulations Kayli, for being published. Even bigger congratulations for believing in yourself and for being inspired to write beautiful poetry. I love the way you described the waterfall. You are very talented! Keep writing! And keep going for it! Love, Auntie Tam

  27. Oh WOW Kayli!! So exciting and such lovely words! Not only do I see a waterfall sparkling…I see you sparkling too! And *that*makes me sparkle. I’ll bet there are actually many, many people sparkling today because of your work. Thank you for sharing! So proud of you.

  28. Kayli – This is an amazing accomplishment for a 7 year old girl! Congratulations to you! Keep writing. You are very good at it!

  29. You’re published! Congratulations! You are an inspiration to young writers. I will be sharing this with my daughters when they get home from school.

  30. Kayli, your poem is beautiful!

    Congratulations on your first of many published pieces. :)

  31. Aw, congrats!!!

  32. Aw congrats Kayli! What a talented young lady you are to already have your writing being published! Lots of good things to come in your future for sure <3

  33. Kayli, your poem gave me goosebumps. Congratulations on being a published poet! I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

  34. Bravo!! I’m going to tell my daughter all about you, because she writes poems too and you’ll be such an inspiration to her. Thank you! xox

  35. All congratulations :-)

    That is quite a rush when you read that something that you made has been accepted, isn’t it?

  36. Kayli, You have a gift! Please keep writing poetry always.

  37. I’m not sure which is more priceless, Kayli…your poem or that you went for it. I guess I am going to have to say both are priceless. And the cherry on top was definitely your reaction to reading your announcement. Way to go, girlie! Love it!!!

  38. Way to go Kayli! Always chase after those dreams, no matter what!

  39. Keely Weiland says:

    K, K, K!!! You are AMAZING. I am so excited for you. What a beautiful poem. I LOVE waterfalls, too. Guess what? Once I got to swim behind one and watch the waterfall from the back! It was so cool. Also? The picture of Chloe and you made me cry tears of joy. Love you so much, honey!! KEEP WRITING! XOXO

  40. Kayli,
    Your poem is beautiful. And congratulations on being published, it’s an incredible accomplishment and you should feel very proud. Keep writing, you’ve got a bright future ahead of you!

  41. Not only are her words kick azz, so is her momma. Way to go encouraging her and letting her just go for it.

  42. Life As Wife says:

    Your mama is so right you know? You should always go for it! Because if YOU don’t, who will?

    Congratulations on being publish at such a young age! So exciting!

  43. Way to go Kayli!
    The sky’s the limit!

  44. I am in absolute tears.
    This is a true gift that you have.
    I hope that you take this moment and run with it always, remembering that you can do anything and that what you are is so very important and worthy.
    So proud of you.
    And thank you for sharing this lovely piece of poetry.

  45. This is beautiful, Kayli. I am so proud of you!

  46. “like a stream that was lifted
    Up up up”

    Speaking as a writer and an English teacher, that’s a darn good simile! And I will tell you a secret. *whispering in your ear* I have the same dream, about my book. I want to see my name on the side of a spine. I don’t know why. I just do. And my main character’s name is Adina! How cool is that?

    You may have your dad’s eyes, but you have your mom’s words! 😉

  47. So wonderful, keep writing!

  48. Your poem is magnificent, Kayli. Do you think you’ll write more of them?
    My son is seven years old too. I think I’ll ask him if he wants to try writing a poem!

    • Thank you Jen for the nice words. And yes I will keep writing poems! I hope he does write a poem! :)

  49. I love this. I love her poem. I love your encouragement and support. I love Vox Poetica’s response. I’m so happy for her!

  50. WOW Kayli. Such a beautiful poem. I loved reading it.

  51. This is so incredibly special! What a sweet poem, Kayli, and what terrific mom you have.

  52. Congratulations! I loved your poem! It’s always a little scary putting yourself out there, but you did it anyway. And it paid off. Bravery like that is super impressive.

  53. —I love this poem.
    C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S!!!!!!!

  54. Hello Kayli,
    I really liked your poem, and look forward to reading more writings by you, talented writer!
    I met your mom many years ago when she lived in CA, and have enjoyed following your family’s adventures on Facebook the last couple of years. I hope to meet you and your family in person sometime soon, and see your mom again! :)

  55. Kayli – it was simply beautiful! Congratulations!!

  56. Wow, a star is born. So excited for you Kayli. You and your mom have so much talent!

  57. It looks like word weaving runs in the family. I am in awe of her talent!

  58. That is so awesome, congratulations Kayli!
    And your poem is absolutely beautiful :)

  59. Well done and congratulations Kayli!
    You have captured the essence of the waterfall wonderfully. always a joy to meet another poet.

  60. Kayli, how absolutely wonderful for you~congratulations! Beautiful poem, and you make your mommy so very proud. Thank you for sharing your work with us and I look forward to reading more of it in the future :)

  61. Thanks for sharing kayli. That took real guts – so impressive.

  62. What a clever and sweet poem. So very well written. Yay! Congratulations to your little writer. Like Mother, like daughter!

  63. Kayli, you wrote a beautiful poem, I could practically see the waterfall before my eyes! And the sparkle? That is the best part, the perfect way to describe it.

    Galit, my heart swells, I can just imagine what you feel.

  64. Awesome writing! I wish my sons liked writing. They are classic Dudes in that way.

  65. How exciting!! I am so happy for you! Your poem is beautiful!

  66. Fantastic job, Kayli! It’s a beautiful pome. And very smart not to wait as long as some of us to submit your work to be published! Start building that portfolio early, girl!

  67. Woo hoo Kayli! That is awesome. Congratulations. An inspiration to us all to “go for it!”

  68. Wow! So very impressed. What an amazing poem. So happy it got published, that truly is awesome.
    I have the bad habit of making all of my poems rhyme- this just flows and is beautiful.

  69. I remember once having an article published in our local newspaper in a section they reserved for youth. It gave me the belief that if you try hard, work hard and take a risk every once in a while that you could accomplish something you could be proud of. This lesson served me well throughout my life and I am sure it will be one of many amazing things your daughter accomplishes. Way to go momma for encouraging her and CONGRATULATIONS Kayli! I can’t wait to see what else you will publish.

  70. That is so exciting! Congratulations Kayli! You have a wonderful gift that I do hope you keep sharing with us. And remember, go for it! Always!

  71. I love the image your words gave my mind. It made me remember every waterfall I’ve loved. Savor this moment – your debut into the literary world. It is good to be brave. Hugs.

  72. What an AMAZING poem, Kayli! You most certainly seem to have inherited your mom’s beautiful way with words.

    Congratulations on being published! Way to go, gorgeous girl!

  73. Congratulations, Kayli!
    I love your poem and I am so happy for you that it was published!
    Keep writing and keep taking those chances! :)

  74. This is a beautiful poem! Kudos to you for having the courage to submit this lovely prose and congratulations for having it published. Keep writing, beautiful one.

  75. Congratulations on becoming a published author!! Brave, beautiful Kayli , I love your words & you!! Please continue to share your talent with us …keep writing!! XOXOX Oma

  76. Way to go, Kayli! A published author: awesome!

  77. That is so cool. My grade ones are writing poems right now. If they wrote one as amazing as this I would be pleased as punch.

  78. It’s beautiful!!!!!!!

    I can’t believe such imagery comes from such a small creature!

  79. I’m crying. At work.

    This is awkward.

    I’m so proud of your daughter and of YOU for lifting her up. What a mom! What a poet! What a family!

  80. Way to go Kayli! The only way you can accomplish what you want in life is to go for it. I love waterfalls too and your poem.

  81. oh my goodness, that is one BEAUTIFUL poem Kayli, Your mom has given you all her beautiful qualties and talent. I am in awe and so proud of you. :)

  82. Amazing!
    She has the gift of writing just like you!

  83. It’s AMAZING when inspiration comes in the form of a seven year old! You inspire ME, miss Kayli! Congratulations on getting your first poem published! I sure hope to read more from you!!

  84. I don’t know how I missed this, but great job! It’s a beautiful poem.

  85. Such a great poem! Congrats, Kayli!

  86. Kayli that is a gorgeous poem. The imagery is just perfect. You are certainly a writer and a beautiful reflection of your mama’s spirit. I love it.

    I wish you could meet my daughter Sophia, who is 5 1/2 and has a spirit just like yours. She does not write yet but creates the most beautiful pieces of art and she adores waterfalls. I will send you a picture of her favorite one.

    Thank you so much for sharing your blossoming gift with us!

  87. I am only just reading this and I love it. What a beautiful poem from a beautiful girl. YOu have your mom’s way with words. Congrats on being published!

    Galit, so lovely, my friend. You must be kvelling. 😉


  1. […] Over the last few weeks, she’s written back to every last note that you wrote celebrating her first published poem. […]