Comes the Dawn

I read this in an Ann Landers column years ago, I was around 13 or 14.  It really touched me, and I’ve kept it near me ever since.  I’ve seen various versions of this online, attributed to different people, but I like this version best.  This was the version I saw in the Ann Landers column, and it was attributed to “Anonymous.”

Comes the Dawn
After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and sharing a life
and you learn that love doesn’t mean possession
and company doesn’t mean security
and loneliness is universal
And you 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 your hope on today
as the future has a way of falling apart in mid-flight
because tomorrow’s ground can be too uncertain for plans
yet each step taken in a new direction creates a path
toward the promise of a brighter dawn
And you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and nourish your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers
And you learn that love, true love
always has joys and sorrows
seems ever present yet is never quite the same
becoming more than love and less than love
so difficult to define
And you learn that through it all
you really can endure
that you really are strong
that you do have value
and you learn and grow
with every goodbye
you learn

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