I shared this with Deborah Woods but thought others might enjoy it. This poem has helped me through some rough spots more than once. I carry it in my wallet and pull it out a lot.
After A While
“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 isn’t security.
(Kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises.)
After awhile 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 you learn to build your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain
and the inevitable has a way of crumbling in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you stand too long in one place.
So, you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers.
And you learn you really can endure,
that you really do have worth.
You learn that with every good-bye comes the dawn.”
Judith B. Evans