We Are Paint in Metal Cans

We are paint in metal cans.
We drip, we hurl, we
swirl our colors of fear 
confusion and sadness 
onto a canvas the size of grief.
It follows us wherever we go— 
hovering a few feet
behind our heads like a kite. 
Splattered spittles
of angry red vermillion, swirls
of blue sadness, puddles of brown 
confusion—your colors and mine—
we are the art. 
Today the unframed apparition
is reflected in the glass. 
I finally notice other colors 
I’d been too selfish to notice before:
huge splashes of courageous purple
and powerful black. 

“We Are Paint in Metal Cans,” by Gwendolyn Soper.


3,651 YEARS LIVED: Global Poetry & Prose Reflecting the Pandemic, Edited by Dallas A. Graham.

Poetry Across the Pond and Beyond, a publication of Lockdown Poets (an underground poetry group founded by Ian Aitken). Gwendolyn is a member of this group, which originated in Scotland. Proceeds from sale of book go to the Cornhill Community Centre, Aberdeen, Scotland

Poetry & Covid, a project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, University of Plymouth, and Nottingham Trent University.

WOMEN WRITING HISTORY: A Coronavirus Journaling Project, a project of the National Women’s History Museum

  • [Legal Disclaimer and Short Explanatory Message required by NWHM to accompany works in this project: The terms of use specifies that whatever physical or digital assets you submit to us, those assets are being freely given to the Museum as a donation for the organization’s use. You will not be limited from owning the originals of any part of it. That said, a number of writers and screenwriters, for example, have indicated to us that they plan on using portions of or revised excerpts of their submissions in future projects, and that they will include a disclaimer for any portions that they may have previously submitted to the Museum that reads, “An earlier draft of this piece was submitted to and belongs to the Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project, a project of the National Women’s History Museum.”]


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