The Maier Museum of Art
at Randolph College

“The vibrancy of red” by Lisa Alexander Baron

Milton Avery, Child and Mother, 1946, oil on canvas.

Milton Avery, Child and Mother, 1946, oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy R. Neuberger, 1956. Collection of the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College, founded as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.

after Milton Avery’s Child and Mother


She was born without eyes, so I gave mine up,

chose to wear the green velvet of a summer lawn

so that she can always smell the cut-green grass, always


delight in its ancient, waving lines.  I wear stockings the color of

a March night sky, and hope she can feel the smooth edges

of hand-picked stars, small abstract mirrors flicking light,


illuminating the tree houses and snow forts where she plays

in her imagination.  The world does not see as we see

the bright-red petals and row boats that lift and sway


in the wind.  We chose to pose in the cool, anonymous

comfort of these washed sky-blue and deep-forest green clothes,

and to keep the warmth of our dancing orange scarves for ourselves.


Lisa Alexander Baron is the author of 3 collections of poetry including Reading the Alphabet of Trees (2007) and Sting and Tell: 31 tanka (2011). She most enjoys exploring the connection between visual art & poetry and writing in response to paintings, sculpture, or artifacts. She is seeking a publisher for her new chapbook While She Poses, which is based on images of women sitting for painters. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Chautauqua Literary Review, Confrontation, Theodate, Thema, The Fourth River, and Potomac Review. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches college composition and speech.