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After A While

by Veronica 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 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 woman, 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…

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Magical Charlene, yeah yeah I know its not yours, but you posted it and I can almost ‘hear’ the words.

    PS – Time again. The future now, the present now, the here now, now doesn’t exist it is already gone into the future. But I know you mean a further flung future, the future future can be like dreams in thin air, the future now this instabt, no, not the one just gone past the one we have just syepped into. This IS where we are.

    Love the glitter heart, tiara et all. I shall visit the ‘glitter’ site. Thanks! – Q

  2. Hello Quilldancer ~~ Nice to meet you and glad you liked the jokes.
    I love the poem you have posted so thanks for sharing it. Take care, Merle.

  3. hi, i have a small copy of this poem in my wallet behind the clear plastic where a driver’s licence should go. i’ve had it for years. i try to remember to reread it often.

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