Library of Congress

Poetry and Literature

The Library of Congress > Poetry & Literature > Poet Laureate Projects > Poetry for the Mind's Joy > Winning Poem: Last Leaf Before Winter
{ site_name: 'Poetry', subscribe_url:'/share/sites/library-of-congress/poetry.php' }

Back to list of winning poems
This poem was submitted for the "Poetry for the Mind's Joy" project and is reproduced here with permission from the author. All rights reserved. Poetry for the Mind's Joy is Poet Laureate Kay Ryan's project that includes a community college poetry contest administered by the Community College Humanities Association and a lively videoconference.

September will never come
she said. Crop
circles in her eyes

looking deeply

and falling

back to Earth when
she looks
forward. The cigarette butt
touches the ground.

It’s cancer he
said. She smiled and
tipped the man.

Then, laughed all the way home.

Gwinnett Technical College, Lawrenceville, GA
Faculty Contact: Rebecca Alexander, Program Director, English