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 mean security
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And present aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads 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 the 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 really are strong.
And you really do have worth.
And you learn…
With every goodbye you learn.

By Veronica A. Shofstall

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