Can I re enter the US under the VWP after a short stay of 17 days, only 16 days after exit?
EDIT: Those 17 days are the only time I have been in the US for at least the last year.
Yes, you can. The ESTA can be used multiple times (until it expires), and the VWP allows you to stay for up to 90 days per visit. There are rules about whether or not the 90 day clock stops or not depending where you go outside the US, but for an absence of just 16 days it doesn't matter for you. From the point of view of the VWP admission days, it would be as if you had stayed in the US for the whole 33 days (which means you have 57 days left).