Virginia 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 mean
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 open
With the grace of a woman,
not the grief
of a child.
And learn to build
all your roads on today 
Because tommorow's ground
is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way
of falling down in midflight 
And 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 learn.....

 With every goodbye,
you learn