Dangerous Age

I’ve posted this before but today seemed a good day to repost it…

Dangerous Age


I’m at a dangerous age:

Too old to be young,

Too young to be old.

Women like me straddle extremes,

A foot planted squarely on each.

I might do anything:

Run away to Bali,

Find adventure or a vocation,

Or stay home, learn bridge

And buy a shopping trolley.

I’m not done being young yet;

I’m not ready to exchange

My running shoes for slippers,

I’m not ready to cut my hair,

Colour away the silver threads

And save up for Botox.

I’m at a dangerous age:

Are you ready for this?


12 thoughts on “Dangerous Age

  1. “I’m at a dangerous age:
    Too old to be young,
    Too young to be old.”
    This is exactly how I’ve been feeling ever since I’ve graduated collage Viv… I feel like I’m in purgatory. Always in between feeling like a child who daydreams and plays with her imaginary friends and feeling like an adult who needs to start taking responsibilities… Beautiful poem! 🙂


    • It just gets more pronounced as you go on, Lua. I’ve given up worrying too much about it; the poem was written as I approached my 40th birthday and was finding outside influences getting to me.
      My imaginary friends are as much a part of my inner landscape now as my actual memories.
      I also believe we have an inner age that we are born with and gradually grow into. I am always about 19 inside; it shocks me sometimes when I catch a glimpse of myself in a shop window because my exterior is no longe that age.


      • Indeed it gets more pronounced. I am approaching my 40th birthday, but I don’t feel like it at all. Once I remember my mother told me it was only one’s body that grew old, but one’s spirit remained quite the same. I believe she was referring to what you call inner age. Mine must be somewhere around 17 or 18. But the truth is I was the happiest in my life from 30 till about 34. Perhaps it had nothing to do with my actual age, it was just a happy stage in my personal development.

        I love the poem.


  2. Wow… I can kind of relate to this… my world places me in between two extremes as well…

    I am at an age where people start asking you whether or not your married…
    “well no, I’m not ready”…
    “how old are you again?”

    I’m at a dangerous age because people start having expectations of where you should be… you know what I say to that? I can’t really write it down but use your imagination…

    We all place these invisible guides of what should be, and what could be if we truly tried… just be. everything else will follow suit. we are the extremists…

    And the funny thing is I bet you we are very close in age

    Nice prose


    • Thank you.
      It doesn’t matter in some ways quite where you are or what you have or haven’t done because somebody will always ask about the other paths, the “one we did not take” (TS Eliot again, Burnt Norton)
      I’m in my early 40s but married very young(for professional folk anyway) and had a family young too. But that meant I failed utterly to have any sort of career…and a long term and quite serious illness meant I never really got started. So I am back out in the world, weary and with the starting of what some term character lines and grey hair, but with the same level of experience of the world of work as a new graduate; a strange mix of complete innocence and naivety but at the same time two decades of life experience in utterly different ways. You can almost see the sharks circling, can’t you, waiting for me to start to struggle and go under….
      You are very welcome here Enreal. Thank you for your kind thoughts. I like people who are hard to place… so I hope you’ll come back and visit again.


      • I am 17 in the morning…full of hope and sunshine.
        Then I begin to grow up – I have things to do…they make me worry, and so by afternoon, I am 37. On some days, I am back to being 17 in the evenings – on other days, I have to grow up some more. I have to make decisions that require a lot of experience, I have to forgive follies that I couldn’t if I were 17 – and so I have to climb into my 70s. In the night, when my head hits the pillow and I begin to dream even before I’ve fallen asleep – I am 17 again.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.