Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Dear Ann Landers: A few years ago, you printed a poem in your column. I do not remember the name of it, but some of the lines were: "Kisses aren't promises" and "Even sunshine burns if you get too much."
I would dearly love to have another copy of that poem because it touched me deeply. I hope you can find it and print it again. — L.B. in Cordova, Tenn.
Dear L.B.: That poem is one of the most requested by my readers. I am pleased to print it again for you and others who have asked. Here it is:
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 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 a 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 midflight.
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.
"A Collection of My Favorite Gems of the Day" is the perfect little gift for that special someone who is impossible to buy for. Send a self-addressed, long, business-sized envelope and a check or money order for $5.25 (this includes postage and handling) to: Collection, c/o Ann Landers, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
ANN LANDERS (R)