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At Seventeen

Posted by Marie on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 in ,

I learned the truth at seventeen.


That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired
The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
Were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth.

And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately remained at home
Inventing lovers on the phone
Who called to say, "come dance with me"
And murmur vague obscenities
It isn't all it seems at seventeen.

A brown eyed girl in hand-me-downs
Whose name I never could pronounce said
Pity, please, the ones who serve
They only get what they deserve
The rich-relationed home-town queen
Marries into what she needs
With a guarantee of company and haven for the elderly.

Remember those who win the game
Lose the love they sought to gain
In debentures of quality
And dubious integrity
Their small town eyes will gape at you in
Dull surprise when payment due
Exceeds accounts received at seventeen.

To those of us who knew the pain
Of valentines that never came
And those whose names were never called
When choosing sides for basketball
It was long ago and far away
The world was younger than today
And dreams were all they gave for free
To ugly duckling girls like me.

We all play the game and when we dare
To cheat ourselves at solitaire
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lives unknown
That call and say, "come dance with me"
And murmur vague obscenities
At ugly girls like me, at seventeen.

Lyrics: Janis Ian; Artwork: Eliza Leahy

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2 Comments


si janis ian ang emo, not me, lol!

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