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AT SEVENTEEN (Janis Ian) 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 MURMURED 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 HOMETOWN QUEEN MARRIES INTO WHAT SHE NEEDS WITH A GUARANTEE OF COMPANY AND HAVEN FOR THE ELDERLY SO 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 (INSTRUMENTAL) 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 WHEN DREAMS WERE ALL THEY GAVE FOR FREE TO UGLY DUCKLING GIRLS LIKE ME WE ALL PLAY THE GAME, AND WHEN WE DARE WE CHEAT OURSELVES AT SOLITAIRE INVENTING LOVERS ON THE PHONE REPENTING OTHER LIVES UNKNOWN THAT CALL AND SAY - COME ON, DANCE WITH ME AND MURMUR VAGUE OBSCENITIES AT UGLY GIRLS LIKE ME, AT SEVENTEEN

    


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