I learnt 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 learnt 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 home town queen
marries into what she needs
A quarantee of company
and heaven for the elderly.
Remember those who win the game
loose the love they thought they gained
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 ducking girls like me.
We all play the game, and when we dare
to cheat ourselves in solitaire
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lifes unknown
that call and say "Come dance with me"
and murmur vague obscenities
at ugly girls like me