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 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 tomorrows 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 ask 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 . . .

an anonymous woman.


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