After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul

And you learn that love does not mean leaning
and company does not always mean security

And you begin to learn that kisses are not contracts
and presents are not promises

And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up
and your eyes ahead with the grace of an adult,
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 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 goodbye you learn.

Author: Virginia Shopstal