Father of Only Daughters

Thousand times or more tonight
now you’re in a big-girl bed
and it’s mum’s rare night out
I’ve simply flown upstairs

to watch you upside down again.
I’m so oh over my head
knowing you’re safe at this stage
behind your bed-guard.

Two years old, already a clown,
you’re the jumping sidekick
to your bigger sister
who’s kicked off her duvet again.

In my past, I was treated
as a child when I was a man
and forced to remain in wedlock
to uphold the family name.

Look at me flying upstairs
on the wings of my shame
for my second-chance life.
A life under yours in a fall.

About Author

Daljit Nagra
Daljit Nagra was born and raised in West London, then Sheffield. He currently lives in Harrow with his wife and daughters. In 2004 his poem ‘Look We Have Coming to Dover!’ won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem, and his first collection of the same name won the 2007 Forward Prize for Best First Collection, was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award and won the 2008 South Bank Show/Arts Council Decibel Award. Tippoo Sultan's Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!! (2011) and the Ramayana (2013) were both shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. He teaches at Brunel University London and is currently Poet in Residence at BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra.

Editor's Notes

'Father of Only Daughters' features in the collection British Museum by Daljit Nagra