When my grandma was six, having lived through the Depression,
the Winter Olympics were held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a small town in Bavaria. Relatives of mine—of hers—lived there, generations ago. I visited a few years back, walked around the abandoned Ski Stadium. On one of the entrances was a towering sculpture of a woman holding an eagle. Haven’t you seen that before? In real life, with her wearing leather gloves and the spectators looking afraid and cheering. In real life, as we pass each other on the street. When the rain started it was the kind of unifying event in a room of strangers where at least five people said “Is that the rain?” Then we all looked out the window, and some of us widened our eyes and turned our mouths down a bit at each other. A dark-eyed man began to tell me a story. The rain was loud, or I was thinking about talons digging into my arm, but I didn’t listen to what he said. “What a box to put yourself in,” he said. “What a hill to die on,” I said.
Maddie Pospisil is from Omaha, Nebraska, but currently spends most of her time in Kansas, where she studies and creates poetry.