Evel Knievel Jumps Over My Family

A floodlit Wembley. Lisa, the producer,
swears into her walkie-talkie. We Edwardses,
four generations, stand in line,
between ramps: Smile for the cameras.

My great grandparents twiddle their thumbs
in wheelchairs, as Lisa tells us to relax,
Mr Knievel has faced much bigger challenges:
double deckers, monster trucks, though the giraffe

is urban legend. Evel Knievel enters,
Eye of the Tiger drowned by cheers,
his costume tassels, his costume a slipstream,
his anxious face an act to pump the crowd,

surely. My mother, always a worrier,
asks about the ambulance. Evel Knievel
salutes, accelerates towards the ramps.
I close my eyes, then open them:

is this what heaven feels like,
some motorcycle Liberace overhead,
wheels resting on air? Are these flashes
from 60,000 cameras the blinding light

coma survivors speak of? Before he lands,
there's just time to glance along the line:
though no one's said a thing,
all we Edwardses are holding hands.


from My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren, 2014), © Jonathan Edwards 2014, used by permission of the author

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1Evel Knievel Jumps Over my Family

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3The Voice in which my Mother Read to Me

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4How to Renovate a Morris Minor

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5The Death of Doc Emmett Brown in Back to the Future

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6Lance Corporal Arthur Edwards (1900-1916)

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7My Uncle Walks to Work, 1962

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8Half-time, Wales vs Germany, Cardiff Arms Park, 1991

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9Anatomy

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11View of Valleys High Street through a Café Window

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12Colliery Row

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13Chartist Mural, John Frost Square, Newport

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14In John F Kennedy International Airport

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15Girl

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16Song

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17The Bloke in the Coffee Shop

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18The Hippo

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19Nun on a Bicycle

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20The Bloke Selling Talk Talk in the Arcade

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21Starbucks Name Tag Says Rhian

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22The Performance

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10View of Valleys from a Hill

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2Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren in Crumlin for the Filming of Arabesque June 1965

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