Danger Growing

By Sarah White

I wrote this in one of my memoir writing workshops in response to the prompt, “childhood danger.”


We slept in cribs with slats that could trap our heads, springs and latches that could pinch our fingers.

The pill bottles in our houses did not have child-proof caps.

We rode in cars without seat belts, slept carelessly tossed across luggage behind the back seats of station wagons. Some of us stood between our daddy’s legs and spun the giant wheel. Those big cars piloted like boats.

Our playgrounds were paved in asphalt and pea-gravel. The  equipment was metal and big. If we fell from the jungle gyms and swings and slides or flew off the merry-go-rounds, we got bloody.

We went trick-or-treating in flammable costumes. We ate whatever was given us, including apples and home-made treats.

We rode our bicycles without helmets. We put on roller skates without padding our elbows and knees. We rolled all over town and no one kidnapped us.

As we reached our teens, we turned toward danger like flowers toward the sun. We confused “intense” with “good.”

We put things in our mouths we didn’t know where they’d been. We went spirit-traveling out to edges we couldn’t describe when we got back. On the good trips we held each other’s hands amid spiraling stars. On the bad trips we held each other’s hair back as we puked.

We had sex with people we’d barely met. Sometimes seeds were planted and we had barely-legal abortions. We held onto each other then, too.

Through danger we grew with feigned nonchalance toward adulthood. We were rough beasts slouching toward Bethlehem to be born.

© 2019 Sarah White

About first person productions

My blog "True Stories Well Told" is a place for people who read and write about real life. I’ve been leading life writing groups since 2004. I teach, coach memoir writers 1:1, and help people publish and share their life stories.
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2 Responses to Danger Growing

  1. Melodee Currier says:

    Love this piece, Sarah!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. suzy beal says:

    You make a direct hit with this one. I remember those times well. Not only did we survive childhood and teen age years, but we survived to go on and become interesting adults.

    Suzy Beal

    Liked by 1 person

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