Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Riehlife Bonus Poem of the Day: “Mama’s Powder Puff Was Rough and Tough,” by Linda Darnece Jones

Linda Jones Hawkins

I met Linda Darnece Jones at Kwaanza six days into the new year and we started a conversation about her art and poetry. I heard Linda read "Mama's Powder Puff Was Rough and Tough" at a recent Women's Art and Vision event and asked her if she'd let us share it on Riehlife, to which she graciously agreed. Linda grew up during the “mud pie era” in St. Louis, Missouri in 1953 then stepped out to complete her formal education at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Linda penned her first poem “All Within 100 Years” while studying in Bridgeport and has since written over 500 poems and several short stories for children.

Linda Jones' poetic messages are designed to inspire, entertain and celebrate life’s special moments. Her works have been published in local newspapers, magazines, and selected literary anthologies. She has been featured at area schools, libraries, churches and organizations. In 1997 she won the Vaughn Cultural Center’s Poetry Slam with the infamous poem “If Toilets Could Talk.” Linda credits her elders for inspiring and igniting her creative talents and poetic dreams. Linda is currently providing inspirational messages and concepts for the Next Right Thing Project.

Linda Darnece Jones is a Phenomenal Woman and her she writes about another one such, her mother. From my English Masters days I recall this lovely obscure word "Synecdoche" when you understand one thing with another and use a part for the whole. Linda does that here so well. I love how she tells us everything we need to know about her mother and their relationship through the choice and voice of one object.---JGR

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Mama’s Powder Puff Was Rough and Tough
by Linda Darnece Jones

Mama’s powder puff was rough and tough

Full of years and tears it carved her glowing face

With Friday night’s fish fry and Sunday morning’s grace

Mama’s powder puff was rough and tough.

It held childhood boo-boo’s and adult mishaps

It caressed lessons learned and powder steeped in love

It pressed and blended with perspiration

And soft moments of shine-free hesitation.

Mama’s powder puff was rough and tough.

Mama’s powder puff was rough and tough.

For making pretty moments and blotting out

Life’s delicate stains hidden in Sunday purses

Having seen recitals and teas

And church programs and rehearsals.

Mama’s powder puff was rough and tough

Synonymous was the powder puff’s power

Like enriched, all purpose and pancake flour

Ingredients purely making her look plain on a starlit night

For without your powder puff child, you would be a sight.

Mama’s powder puff was rough and tough.

Down through the years I had it in my hand

Simply mopping and dabbing and smoothing out my

Dr. Watt’s southern pecan, caramel and chocolate tan.

Holding my mama’s powder puff in my hand

Holding a little of mama in my please and thank you m'ams.

Mama’s powder puff was rough and tough.

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3 Responses »

  1. Girl, you did me proud. Now I must look up synecdoche!

  2. I am very proud of you neighbor ... your poem reminded me of wonderful memories ...

  3. Very nice! You sure you didnt know my Grandmother? It sounds like you are writing about her next door neighbor.

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