Laura Bandy attended the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers PhD program from 2009 to 2013, where she received the Joan Johnson Poetry Award. In 2018, she won first prize in the "Trio of Triolets" contest judged by Allison Joseph, and received third place in the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award/ Illinois Emerging Writers Competition that same year. She has had work published in Soft Skull's Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry, Ninth Letter, Sin Fronteras, River Styx, Typo, and The Laurel Review among others, and currently has poems in Midwest Review and Longleaf Review, with work forthcoming in The Florida Review. She is a twin and SUCH a Virgo. Laura hails from Jacksonville, Illinois, home of the Ferris wheel.
After the Proposal
My turn to ride the tractor, I drove it into the side of a barn. It was decided I was a passenger from that point on. Kimmy dug a snow disc out of the cellar along with a length of rope she hooked onto the back of the tractor. I sat folded up like a pocketknife, admiring the lines of my knees. We were studying figures in Geometry, and I discovered that my bent limbs formed an obtuse angle inside the pink plastic circle. This senior year was the first I'd ever been good at math, and suddenly the world seemed all dots and edges. Hold on, Kimmy said, handing me the knotted end of rope and sputtering the tractor to life. She drove slow loops around the yard, waving at the yellow squares of window on our farmhand's trailer and getting lapped by his toy poodle, Goliath. The sky was streaked pink and a sinking sun shot final rays over cornfields in the distance, connecting each row like a child's coloring book. They would give you the farm, Kimmy said over her shoulder, taking a sharp turn at the fence line. You know there's no one else to work it. I could feel new grass beneath me and hidden rocks and twigs as I slid in a shifting V behind the tractor, my disc spinning like a star that can't find its place in the constellation.