Rosie glowed. She bagged sacks of ‘O’ levels
and we knew she was set, she’d be RADA Rosie.
On Speech Days, Rosie shook her spells. Kipling’s If.
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch.
The governors and the goody-bags
thought it was glorious. Slop, we thought.
But that was public Rosie. What we’d heard
(there wasn’t too much detail), but the word
in the Common Room was that Rosie was hot.
Very little “If” about it was the word.
But what is word?
Then the stage career. I’d never seen Rosie act
(not since Kipling on Speech Days)
till Moira yanked me along to the Barbican.
I didn’t like the Barbican, programmes at four quid,
toffee noses front of house and credit cards,
but suddenly, a patch of sound and light,
the forest of Arden and Rosie in As You Like It.
Rosie, Rosie, Rosalind. The glow was total now,
the animation, all that life and love.
O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou didst know
how many fathom deep I am in love.
The forest and its promises.