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kristin entler / poem

The Opposite Of Fear Is Trust

When I was still young, I thought the trees at the end of my parents’ street came alive each night. That every tree branch was a snake waiting to reach down and pluck the bike

helmet off my head. That a cup of orange juice could really boost my immune system enough to keep me out of the hospital. That the sun welcomed each morning’s long and

slow stretch into sky as much as anyone does the day’s first yawn. More recently, on an isolated mountain road 500 miles away from home, freshly single and learning how to feel my hands

touch the earth and feel anything besides hurt again, I found myself afraid of every possibility: of a scorpion under each rock, of rattlesnakes waiting in every pile of autumn leaves to fang

my stupidly exposed ankle. What I’m saying is, I’ve always lived my life on a razor’s edge, always sure the next moment ready to crosshatch blood from the arches of my feet;

but I read somewhere the water that springs from these mountains is the most naturally pure on earth. I hold my shoes, wade through the creek, and wait for nothing bad to happen.


Kristin Entler was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 6 months old and first came out as LGBT+ several years after her diabetes diagnosis, at 12 years old. She currently serves as Poetry Editor for NELLE and lives with her service-dog-in-training, Azzie, whose name is short for the Greek God of Medicine. Entler can be found in publications such as The Bitter Southerner, Gulf Stream Literary Magazine, Porter House Review, and BOOTH among others, as well as on twitter @findmycure.

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