Barred from Austrian Christian athletic
clubs, the country’s swim champion
recalled — sixty-five years later —
that day. The team approached the entrance,
heard thunder from the cheering throng inside
the Vienna arena. She, in the lead — David’s proud
star fixed to her shirt. When the girl stepped into view
As if plunged into a shark-infested shoal, thirty
thousand piercing glares surrounded her.
And so, paladin-like, refused to swim
for Austria in Hitler’s Berlin games.
For this deed, she was stripped
of her medals while — beneath
those stunning Alpine peaks —
the populace waltzed on.
― appeared in Poetica Magazine, 2008