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For the Smooth Challenge

By Hannah MoorePublished 3 months ago 1 min read
Runner-Up in the Smooth Challenge

It is not convention, I know, to carry a stone

Outside of your body, the weight in a trouser pocket,

Discarded on the floor each night, draped over a chair

Before I climb into bed.

Sometimes, I take it out and place it on the bedside table,

Where it is safe and I can watch it,

The way the lamp light finds no purchase to pin shadows,

And so drapes them, doubtingly, fading out of sight.

The way the moon bathes it, nullifies its pricking colours,

Flannels its glints and renders it smooth.

Sometimes, I tuck it beneath my pillow,

And let the press of it mount beneath my ear,

Hearing nothing.

Mostly, it stays in my pocket, where I hold it,

Cold and firm and undeniable

When I need to remember the ground beneath me.

Once, dry mouthed and thirsting, I placed it between my teeth,

And closed my mouth around it,

And, wetted, marvelled at its absence

Of hooks or divots to slow my sliding tongue.

The friction is all mine, the papillae,

The swirled ridges of my finger-tips,

So soothed to feel so little.

I know it is not convention, after all these years,

To carry this gastrolith in my hand,

And not to let it sink me.

When I choose to float.


About the Creator

Hannah Moore

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Comments (23)

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  • Alison McBain2 months ago

    I really enjoyed this. If only we could carry our baggage on the outside and set it down when we pleased. :)

  • Kristen Balyeat2 months ago

    So amazing, Hannah! This piece gave me all the feels. Congrats on your placement in the challenge!! 💞💫

  • Yayyyyy I'm sooooo happy for you my friend! Congratulations!!!!!

  • Caroline Jane2 months ago

    This is so good. Sorry I missed this first time around! Congratulations. So very deserved. ❤️

  • Daphsam2 months ago

    Congratulations on your win!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Yay! Congrats.

  • Stephanie Hoogstad2 months ago

    What a beautiful piece about such a seemingly simple object and the significance it can play in one’s life. I think, maybe secretly, we all have something like this that we hang on to, in order to keep ourselves grounded. Congratulations!

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Beautifully written!!! Congratulations on the runner up win!!!

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    Sorry I missed this one but brilliantly composed and the sentiment is perfect! Super Congratulations!

  • Judey Kalchik 2 months ago


  • Paul Stewart2 months ago

    Oh...congrats. Congrats. Congrats. One of us done it! :) I'm so delighted you placed. Well done, Hannah!

  • D.K. Shepard2 months ago

    Masterful and impressive use of language! Congrats!

  • L.C. Schäfer3 months ago

    Some excellent words in there as always 😁 Papillae is a good one. I'd stab a man for your vocabulary.

  • Novel Allen3 months ago

    I read about animals using stones to digest their food, now I have a name for it. This was positively brilliant, the use of the stone as a simile for comfort. Wonderful poetry.

  • Paul Stewart3 months ago

    So...yeah...read this like Jason literally first and then really felt the metaphorical side. It actually really works well both ways. Beautiful and relatable writing. I feel I often say that about your work, Hannah, and it's because it's the truth. Great entry and thank you for the new word.

  • JBaz3 months ago

    Marvelous. I read this both ways, as a literal stone and as a burden. Oddly enough I have what I call a worry stone on my desk. I hold it and rub it between my hand and it eases my mind.

  • When I saw your title, I googled it because I had no idea what it was and I was so fascinated to learn about it! Then I started reading your poem was like a tad confused because I took it literally, lol. Then I went with it metaphorically and understood perfectly. I wish I can do that to my brain, just remove it and place it on the table. Lol. Loved your poem!

  • Caroline Craven3 months ago

    I thought this was brill. Great writing.

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    This is beautiful. Wouldn't it be great if we could just carry our burdens in our pockets and lay them on then table when we're done. Then again, I'd never pick it back up. Great entry.

  • J. S. Wade3 months ago

    Beautiful poem. Carrying weight externally is easier to manage, heal, and use to your good or take a break from the pain. Beats that weighted, sinking feeling in your stomach. I can relate. Time to put s stone in my pocket. Your poem is extraordinary in its awareness and poetic beauty. Love it. 🥰

  • Mother Combs3 months ago


  • Rachel Deeming3 months ago

    I've read your explanation below to Salman but I think even without it, you can read this piece as the stone being a comfort or a talisman, something that grounds the narrator. Whatever it "means" your description is great of the stone and the relationship that the narrator has with it.

  • Salman siddique3 months ago

    don't understand

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