The permanent crisis of loving her
At some point in the last two years of her life
I narrowly avoided a collision
with the actress Charlotte Coleman. I’d seen her
as a child in the series Worzel Gummidge –
then later, as an adult, in the TV
adaptation of Jeanette Winterson’s first
novel, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit;
the closest I ever came to a woman
I didn’t know but had made a heroine.
She stares at me now from a DVD case:
kooky, pale and marmalade-haired, like the girl
I still dream I’ll bump into, fall in love with;
the one whose passing you never get over.
The one of whose life a childhood sweetheart speaks
as the permanent crisis of loving her.