After a While

By 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... 
© 1971

The Airbrush Rose Of Texas