South of Seventeen

She was just south of seventeen when they first met
He was angled against a lamp post with a coy smile
And eying her from head to toe he offered a cigarette
But he was well trained in the arts of deception and guile
Hiding his true intentions just beneath his starched collar
While she moved in closer, throwing back auburn hair
She learned just north of fifteen to do anything for a dollar
A body so young teetering on the precipice of disrepair
Against rain slicked pavement they went off arm in arm
Down the sidewalk on a path where life became oblique
It’s been years since mom and dad raised her on the farm
But nothing compared with the danger that he would seek
With a gleam in his eye they scaled stairs in the high rise
And in the room she sat him down and slipped off her dress
While just south of seventeen giving away her best prize
But as she worked she had made no plans of her own egress
The look on his eyes, the smile on his face soon disappeared
As strong hands soon grasped and choked around her neck
Just south of seventeen with what she had always feared
The price of goods when the purchaser feels they’re dreck
Flash back to another night in another rainy southern town
He was angled against a lamp post and often seldom seen
Flipping a quarter, taking his time waiting to strike down
Another girl turning tricks while just south of seventeen

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