Daredevil

They that go down in the sea in ships That do business in great waters These see the works of the Lord, and the wonders in the deep. —Psalm 107: 23–24 Evel Knieval wound up to the hilt about to unzip the road from number 14. Last outing, left unconscious in my room his leg twisted, head back-to-front, hip ball and socket popped. We'd shifted on from piddling toys. A first frost dares grow across the top lip and pimples are a missed dartboard wall, Woody looking startled from pellet shot. We string the rope for a hanging, thread the stick like a pocket watch chain and pull straws for the running order— I came out last. There are five of us today on the bank taking turns to Tarzan out into the road as if launching a new ship, it's summer Sunday evening, our necks browned. The lorry driver pumps his foot hard like putting something out of its misery. Flesh and bones sing. He sets out laughing before the hit as if flying to the moon. My mother is scrubbing the doorstep clean Where're you been? You're black as the ace of spades.

Karl Riordan