Dina L. Relles

writer. editor. curious + common.

Some have been shouting, some stay silent. Everything has changed, yet one day still follows the last, much like it always has.

Our burdens feel heavier, yes. But the beauty feels sharper too. Every small kindness, every gentle exchange. We are more porous somehow, risking both the scalding heat and the soothing salve of letting everything in. We have become more watchful—of our words, our ways with each other.


One morning in the week after the election, I woke in the dark and penned a little poem. Because sometimes a simple string of words can capture a shared moment. Because sometimes the sliver of the page is all you have space for.

I’m humbled to have that poem appear in an anthology of 100 post-election writings jointly published by The Rattling Wall and PEN Center USA. You can purchase a copy of the collection, Only Light Can Do That, here. (And below is a sneak peek of the pages with my poem.)


We don’t know where we go from here. We’ve taken down our lawn signs; we still work at being neighbors. I feel caught between catastrophe and carrying on.

But I zip my kid’s coat, put the coffee on, pay the bills. Buy peppers. Take long drives. Smile at strangers. Eat cereal before bed. Fold the laundry. Call a friend.

It’s still a beautiful world out there. I hope to see you in it.




15 thoughts on “a little post-election poem

  1. Tami Astorino says:

    Wow. You took the words right out of my heart. But I never could have expressed them so beautifully so thank you for doing that for me and so many others. Keep writing. Love you.




    1. Baba says:

      Learning to swim. Appreciate you. Gentle power to us all.

    2. thank *you* … “keep writing” is the best encouragement there is. love you xox

  2. The white knuckle grip on your belief that the world is good … oh, yes. I gasped. Perfect. xox

    1. thank you, always, dear Lindsey. xox

  3. Thank you Dina for the gifts of your words and your painfully poignant observations. Love this all so much.

    1. thank you for your unwavering support…always love your words however they come. xo

  4. Dana says:

    Beautiful Dina, congrats and what an honor! Art matters indeed.

  5. bam says:

    this is so so beautiful. i had to send it out into the world. with this little note, in part: sometimes poetry is holy breath. breathe. you fill me with holy breath today. thank you. xoxoxo

    1. this note, especially from you, made my day and more. always and endlessly grateful for your presence, your shining example, your selfless support. just thank you for you. grateful to share space. xox

  6. Nina Badzin says:

    So beautiful and inspiring

  7. Mimi says:

    This is beautiful Dina! I love how you wrote in your post you feel “caught between catastrophe and carrying on.” You put into words what I have been feeling.

    1. thank you so much for reading & commenting, Mimi! yes…every day feels like that. i know you know…sending you love. xox

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