My Daughter Paints in Quarantine

She’s as tall as the easel now,
purple tank top
underneath the apron
falling below her shorts,

all of her splattered with paint.
The smell of linseed
oil or gamsol,
(I’m not sure which) fills the room.

A solid grey-primed canvas
slowly disappears
beneath each stroke –
greens and blues and browns

and touches of bright white.
Her hair is up
in a tangled
bun, and her music plays

to her alone. She’s been stuck
at home for months,
yet maybe
she is more congregant

than trapped – learning
to mix her paints,
to add a bit
of light, to understand

the depth of skin.

Wynne Morrison practices pediatric palliative care and critical care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is a professor of anesthesiology and critical care. 

About the Poem

“Watching my daughter work on her first oil painting (during the several months at the start of the pandemic, when she interacted with no one in person other than our immediate family) made me think so much about human connection. My hope in this poem was to hint at the huge variety of feelings so many were experiencing.”


10 thoughts on “My Daughter Paints in Quarantine”

  1. Beautiful work as usual Wynne! I love the use of the word congregant. Hope you and your family are well and that Delta does not inspire more poems….

  2. Wynne,
    Wonderfully evocative and I introspective at the same time- it’s great to hear your voice on paper- I guess actually in screen.

  3. Gary Lerner MD

    Your poetry keeps getting better and better
    I’ve often read through the collection you gave me when you came to Omaha several years ago to present ethics grand rounds and lead our committee’s education retreat.. it’s nice to hear from you again
    Gary Lerner

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