My Write-In Votes

[A poem from Ramon Presson's book Voice Lessons]

I’m calling for a do-over election with more room for write-ins of things trustworthy and pure.

I elect the dawn’s deer grazing at the edge of a Franklin pasture.

I elect the inhaling and exhaling of the surf at low tide.

I elect the sounds of children playing in a limited-edition Tennessee snow.

I elect the steaming cup of coffee before the sun comes up and morning hits its stride.

I elect the birds at dusk crowding the lobbies of favored trees at check-in.

I elect the brief warm flood in the chest that accompanies the first sip of good wine.

I elect the smell of fresh cut lumber and its running mate — new leather.

I elect the Welcome To North Carolina highway sign that reminds me where I was born and which land raised me.

I elect the dogwood tree in my backyard that blooms on cue at Easter.

I elect the daring sparrow at an outdoor café that snatches a muffin crumb that fell from my plate.

I elect the honeysuckle along a back road when the fragrance hitches a ride on the breeze.

I elect the mornings in Evergreen, Colorado where Mount Evans greeted me in the distance and tipped his snowcap.

I elect the vows that a new book and reader make to each other before getting undressed.

I elect that which cannot be written in on a ballot, that which will guide us forward, ever forward, regardless of who lives in some white house.


Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin ( and the author of several books. Reach him at [email protected].

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