The Single Father

By Tiggy Johnson | 11 Apr 14
silhouette of father and daughter walking hand in hand

By Tiggy Johnson

This poem was shortlisted for the Right Now Poetry Competition, judged by Maxine Beneba-Clarke, Amanda Anastasi and Benjamin Solah. Read the shortlist here

He’s leered at, sometimes

followed, watched

when buying knickers

for his girls.


He gets cookbooks

and leftovers for birthdays

while the girls get baked

treats wherever they go.


He doesn’t always know

when they need

a hug, or how to ask

his mates for advice

they don’t have, or

where to go to vent.


His girls’ friends

rarely come to their house

to play after school

and they’ll never

be allowed

to sleep over.


Tiggy Johnson’s poems have appeared in Cordite, Quadrant, Audio Overland II, Going Down Swinging, and in Black Inc’s Best Australian Poems 2012. Her poetry collection First taste was published in 2010 and That zero year, co-written with Andrew Phillips, in 2012. She is currently writing her family history in poetry. Read more about her at