The Skates of Holy Bloody Joy

In Line at the Bank
by Ryan Hardrgrove

street kids
skate in the park
screaming holy bloody joy
not caring about anything
besides how to have more fun
They think
“we have to be home later”
that. is. it.
even eating isn’t a problem
kids are fed
the kids will always be fed
it’s the parents who starve

the skate park hangs over
the bank parking lot
and I listen to them
from my stale car interior
growing staler every second
there is some sticky residue
lacquered into the cup holder
and the kids are laughing

Inside the bank it’s hot
the walls are blue
a middle aged woman teller
counts money quietly
while a frail old man
scrupulously mulls over the
different types of deposit/withdrawal slips
a fan runs somewhere unseen
that cocaine smell of money

the vault is just off to the side
I stare back into it
It seems to be open just a little
and I think that I could probably fit
but when I look back toward the tellers
the middle aged woman is looking at me
like I’m a raccoon rooting through her trash

so I leave
keeping the 97 dollars in my pocket
I hit the parking lot
and the children are still laughing

I want to go buy a skateboard
with the money
but I don’t know how to skate
and the electric bill is due
so I drive home
grab a beer out of the fridge
drink it too fast
then sit there burping
and fingering the money in my pocket
how it came to be like this


Ryan Hardgrove is currently wading through his late twenties as a feckless bartender and responsible father. He is also a writer and a musician. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his common law wife and their son.


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I am a dreamer, as well as a doer, who lives in the North Georgia mountains. I started my publishing journey August of 2013, have had moderate success, but my utmost passion is my "daytime" job, which is working with adults who are constantly striving to better their lives as they obtain the GED credential.

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