Wednesday, February 22, 2012

with every goodbye you learn

Who hasn't experienced the pain of a broken heart? Who hasn't hung their hopes on someone else and then had to rush to pick up the scattered pieces when it fell apart? This poem has had a home on my wall in every home I've had since college, when my first love broke my heart. I always find something in this poem that rings true to whatever relationship I'm in at the time. Yes, it's true, I'm stronger than I think and I can endure, but just once I'd like to not have to. Just once.

AFTER A WHILE (Veronica Shoftshall, 1971)

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 always 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 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 mid-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
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn...

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