linda hofke

In Praise of the Cosmetologist

I asked him not only to make her look her best
but also to capture the essence of her being–

the delicate nature of her soft-spoken voice,
simple yet graceful like the bouquet of daisies

often setting in a bone china vase by her window,
the long petals and bright yellow faces turned to the light.

I requested the wisp of rouge on her cheeks
blend in perfectly, no harsh lines, no wild colors,

true to her character, always fitting in but never
drawing extra attention to herself.

Her bobbed hair, no longer peppered with grey
but rather silver with highlights of brown, should be set

with rollers, gently brushed, strands fastened behind each ear
to curve under the jawline and accentuate her voluptuous mouth.

I wanted the tone of her lips to reflect the sweet sounds
of her bird-like whistles, smooth and soothing

as she softly bounced her grandchildren on one knee,
yet strong and upbeat when she cleaned house.

Upon my return, I delighted that the subtle cherry blossom
shade of her cheekbones didn’t overshadow the deep cerise pink

of her lips, a dot of clear gloss smack in the middle, shiny,
like a whispered whistle lost on her silenced breath.

Linda Hofke lives in Germany and wishes she could write good material as quickly as she can drive on the Autobahn. She blogs at