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On December 31, 2010, I moved a box of my dead brother Michael's stuff into my basement. It had been sitting upstairs in my spare bedroom since he died in 2005. I was in my house in Baltimore, Maryland -- the ever-hopeful ever-declining Rust Belt city where I've been hiding out for the past ten years. I live with my husband and daughter in a fixer-upper in a nice, leafy …

Words aren't coming as smoothly as before
ones that do don't seem to fit
shattered trust
and so much more

trust in myself
trust in my words
trust in my choices
trust in my tears

losing faith
losing strength
losing a friend
just losing...

too much said
not enough said
with only the ending
of good-bye.

I cried right after my husband and I landed at the Nice Cote D'Azur Airport because the journey had been so long getting there. Many years before-my father and I argued vehemently because his dream was for me to visit the South of France. He had once lived in a small French town but didn’t think I would ever get the chance to because I was a young wife and …

It was snowing. Snowing in a city known for rain. Christmas. Almost. Too many feelings and six days away from his arms and lips our bed a hotel and moments in mountains that were supposed to be “good for us.” Just us. Me. Sometimes I try too hard to make broken things work. Sometimes I try… The silver ocean under snow and my black hair I floated with the tide …

Several years ago, I walked the streets of a Colorado mountain village, feeling nothing but darkness despite the bright sunlight pouring down on me. I had just ended three years of directing a fledgling non-profit organization, working fourteen-hour days to help low-income people. I was filled with stress, “burn-out,” and every negative emotion you can imagine. The future loomed like a huge blank wall, as insurmountable as the mountains surrounding …

When I saw began volunteering on the Right Here Youth Panel, I realised just how little support there is for young people in need of mental well-being support. I decided I had to do everything I could to get this message out. I now manage the national panel's twitter and am a member of the Brighton Pilot project. Spending two hours [a long moment] with these people who aren't at …

Poem for john

the doctor gave me the news.
there must be some mistake.
breast cancer? surely not me?

‘hold on tight’ you said,
‘and we’ll travel this path together.’

you fed me chilled watermelon,
piece by piece, morsel by morsel,
to cool my body from the chemo heat.

the medication made me fat.
I lost all my hair.
but you …

Walking down the office hallway heading towards the door, I stop. Frozen. I realize, just as my feet affix themselves to the floor, that I have forgotten something. Puzzled by my abrupt standstill, a co-worker who is leaving with me waits, the crumpled expression on her face silently pleads, Why are you stopping? I remain steadfast. Motionless. Words erupt from someplace within me. The only decent pair of shoes I …

I’ve been thinking lately about why I used to like climbing into my parents’ dryer. I think even at the time (I must have been younger than seven), I imagined I was in some sort of primordial, pre-natal place. I loved the darkness and the quiet, and would only emerge after the metal ribs around me would become unbearable. Today, forty-something years later, I would love to try a desensitization …

My parents separated in the beginning of 2010. It started out to be a very lonely year for me. I grew cold towards affection and attention. I was ill-tempered and easily irritated by people who made small mistakes or did things that didn't suit the way I wanted it done. This all changed the day I brought my little bundle of joy home from the SPCA. Tigger taught me to …

It was November 24th, 2010 when life had finally taken a turn for the better. I finally found courage and reached out to someone. I called my cousin and told her everything. I called her in the middle of the night and told her about my depression, my scratching, my self harming, my loss of sleep and concentration over the last few months and the insults and emotional abuse from …

I’m living in my head these days.
It’s a minute studio apartment, dark, very dark filled with yesterday’s crap and tomorrow’s fears.

If I just could go back to the old neighborhood, the last flat, where rent was less, much less, and the worries few…but all that changed when the housing market went BOOM before the BUST, and a house was no longer a HOME but instead a HOT …

I went to the ER with abdominal pain 4 days after taking a positive pregnancy test. After suffering from an ectopic pregnancy a year before I was scared when I climbed up on the exam table for an ultra sound to see how this pregnancy was progressing. At only 6 weeks the womans face who placed the ultrasound goo on my belly was priceless. I thought right away something was …

It was the 5th of November, 2010, 12:20 am. My university acceptance result was out. It felt like now or never. I had to see my name in that list. I had to see the admission number ID-87/2011, ID being the abbreviation for Interior Design. I had to get in and fulfill my dream and also for one other person I love the most.
I opened the university’s webpage and …

I stood out in the stairwell but I could see through the windows in the door. I was wearing a silver metallic suit I was certain would destroy what little reputation I had.
The woman jerked the door open and on just this side of whisper said, “Get out there. Go. Now. All of you.”
I had forgotten I wasn’t alone but had six other fifth …

I got engaged just two weeks ago. I would tell you that I’m not a traditional person, but, just two days after the ring was put on my finger (on bended knee no less), I was where I always am on Christmas Eve, caroling around a piano in Erie, PA, in a sea of people who all have my same nose. And while the meaning of “Jesus to …

We shoved the last of my belongings in the hatch-back of the mini-van and my best friend, Sky, climbed into the driver’s seat. We were a year out of college, and I was leaving Boston – where I had moved for no reason other than my best friend and boyfriend lived there, where I had worked in a job that I hated and cursed the bitter Boston cold for six …

On one of our first dates, my wife Lindi and I danced for three straight hours to Bruce Springsteen records at a little club in Oregon in 1985. We’ve been Bruce Tramps ever since. His music featured prominently at our wedding a year later.

When Springsteen tours, we buy tickets for multiple shows, pack the car, and follow him up and down the west coast. We fly to more …

Spinal given. Scalpel cuts. A pull and a tug. A baby cries. Welcome to the world, my beautiful baby Bobby!

Cell phone? Check. Car keys? Check. Backpack? Check. Lunch money? Check. Best friend? No where in sight. Where could he be? He was supposed to give me a ride to school today, he couldn't have forgotten about me. After fifteen minutes, I called my dad for a ride. Dad wasn't to happy about it, he kept mumbling how he had to cut short a meeting with a valued customer. I …
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The Moment Book

Moments from the SMITH Community

Tomorrowland "Daisy, F3," my son Archer says as we pull into our parking spot. Disneyland’s about to open and we've arrived, just the two of us, our last hoorah before school starts. *** The alarm goes off and I pull the pillow tightly over my head. My husband, Hal, offers to wake the kids so I roll over, fall back asleep until Archer's voice wakes me, this time for good. "Hi, Mommy. It's …
Line Break
With Both Hands Whenever I think of my mother, my mind flips to this story. Not to the whole story, but right to the middle of it, the worst moments of it. For me, that's where the story always starts. My mother was beating the hell out of me. The first few blows seemed to come from every direction as I grabbed my nightgown and pulled it over my head, not …
Line Break
Reasons to be Thankful By Robert Israel They scraped me off the street, my bicycle in a heap nearby, and ever so gingerly placed me on the gurney. A crowd of curious onlookers watched intently, thankful they were not being loaded onto the ambulance. The nurses at the hospital were calming as nurses are wont to be, and administered an intravenous tube of morphine, and soon everything around me became fuzzy and numb, and the …
Line Break
Read More Community Moments →
 
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