After a While

After a while you learn

The subtle difference between

Holding a hand and chaining a soul

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning

And company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn

That kisses aren’t contracts

And presents aren’t promises

And you begin to accept your defeats

With your head up and your eyes ahead

With the grace of a woman

Not the grief of a child.

And you learn

To build all your roads on today

Because tomorrow’s ground is

Too uncertain for plans

And futures have a way

Of falling down in mid flight.

After a while you learn

That even sunshine burns if you get too much

So you plant your own garden

And decorate your own soul

Instead of waiting

For someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn

That you really can endure

That you are really strong

And you really do have worth

And you learn and you learn

With every good bye you learn.

~Veronica A. Shoffstall

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