Emmy Ball-Hennings was born in Flensburg, where I grew up. She´s been a great inspiration to me. This is from her poetry collection "letzte freude" (last joy). She dedicated this poem to Ferdinand Hardekopf.
Lonely straying through the nights I think of you.
Sometimes I see a coat similar to yours.
And then I call you softly by your name.
My heart stops with grief.
Tired, I lean against the wall and close my eyes.
Many tears flow slowly to the ground.
The world stays far behind.
I am blown through white clouds into open arms.
A rain of roses falls after me and cools my sick eyes.
Everything is so white and gentle.
Oh how sweet.
now, at this age, she finally saw herself in the mirror, and with eyes closed, she saw from within that she had become a woman after all and the little girl was no more and that those round breasts, the reasonably slender figure, her long, slightly wavy, golden hair (no grey yet), her brown eyes and well-shaped mouth might after all be attractive. after the years of marriage and two children, she finally saw the woman she might be and she blushed in embarrassment that she should have thought of herself as a little girl for so long despite all that had happened and all the years. she had never thought of herself as beautiful and had not noticed mens' gaze on her, and maybe she had thus, by denying herself the blossoming of her femininity allowed it to grow sheltered, within... now she felt the "rare beauty" someone had seen not so long ago. after all those years she suddenly understood how, when the first signs of becoming a woman manifested on her, she had become scared at the thought of becoming desirable to men even though she seems to have always known that she desired this, too, and so the denial began, the desperate efforts to starve her womanhood, and later, the half-hearted concessions as her body needed warmth, caresses, and bearing children...
still scared, she chooses to dance... still scared...
leaving the children to play with their father
i dive into the water
pushing off from the side of the pool
the water against my skin makes me
feel my whole body
fingertips to toes
and it feels good
effortlessly i find a rhythm
push stretch pull turn
trying to find an equally easy rhythm
to poem about happiness
i go faster
only to feel the water's resistance
exhausted i return without words
the children are playing happily