thanks for the reply,
It appears you are basically doing what we are doing to handle the pesky white space between the end of the line and the beginning of the next line. Using a end-of-line br tag to handle hard or soft hyphens, We use the hyphen char and the en-dash char to differentiate between those to animals.
I hadn't thought of using the <lb/> tag at both teh beginning and the end but that makes perfect sense!
I think the beginning and ending <lob/> would need a unique identifier to pair them when processing the text.