Tuesday, August 31, 2004

After a While

By Veronica A. Shoffstall
written at age 19

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 open, 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


After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if

you get too much.

So plant your own garden and decorate your own

soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you


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. . . .