After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn 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 always promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and 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 really are strong
and you really do have worth and you learn
and you learn
with every good-bye
you learn.

—Veronica Shoffstall, After A While

 

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