Cardiff International Poetry Competition

Second Prize Winner - Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan EdwardsJonathan Edwards' first poetry collection, My Family and Other Superheroes, is forthcoming from Seren Books. He won the Terry Hetherington Award in 2010 and was awarded a Literature Wales New Writer’s Bursary in 2011. His work has appeared in Magma, Planet, Poetry Wales and The Rialto. Jonathan lives in Crosskeys, South Wales.


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.