After A While

After A While 
   �1971 Veronica A. Shoffstall 

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 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 
you really are strong 
you really do have worth 
and you learn 
and you learn 
with every goodbye, you learn…

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