Laura Benton is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where her poetry was honored with the Oswald Creativity Award. In 2010, she won the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning’s “Next Great Writer Award” competition. She is the recipient of an Individual Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Currently, she teaches English in Versailles, Kentucky.
Leap of Faith
“We set out together to try our fortunes in a new world.”
-Willa Cather, My Antonia
“We’ll try our fortune here,” my father said,
following the line of the map,
a route from Texas to Kentucky.
I had a phobia of trees when we arrived,
after being so accustomed to vastness.
A world that narrowed in on itself,
a womb heaving with the eyes, each leaf a tree.
I could always see where I was going before,
the road stretched out, endless.
All of this speaks to longing,
and a fear of curving roads.
I knew of no other way to be—
lonely and wishing for the vast space fortune took.