Key Skates

key skates IIISaturday at the roller rink, waiting for a chance to skate with the boy you want to hold your hand. A love song plays, there’s a disco ball. Thirteen, 1975, you do what all the girls do: fake helplessness lest boys think you unladylike. Weekdays, alone after school, you fly down the steep concrete sidewalk, knees and hands scraped from falls, the metal skates so hard to adjust. When you see the boy skating toward you, hardly balanced himself, you hold up your hand—halt!—and ask him if he has a key. You’ve been asking ever since.


Janice Lynch Schuster is the author of several nonfiction books, poetry collections, and Washington Post articles. A recent turn to drawing allows her to create what she cannot express in words, not even 100 of them.

Photo credit: Red Bat

2 Responses to “Key Skates”

  1. This has a particularly good close.

  2. Tony Press says:

    Oh, I do like this one.

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