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.
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 dance with me
and murmur vague obscenities
at ugly girls like me, at seventeen.