Lady Coetzee Gads About
At the checkpoint, Doortje Coetzee, a native geranium,
pottered along until she reached the front of the line.
The officer glanced through her South Africa passport,
then managed a cordial greeting.
“Good morning, Ms. Coetzee. Where are you off to this fine day?”
Doortje offered up a dazzling smile.
“I have an auntie living in America. A small corner called Seattle.
Time I got round to seeing her.”
A pink blush flooded her petals.
“I’ll turn seven come spring.” She sighed. “Life is much too short.”
“Will Seattle be your final destination then?”
“No. Auntie winters in Arizona. We’ll fly there with her keeper in October.”
“I’ve heard Seattle is a bit rainy, but a lovely place,” the man said.
“Love the rain,” Doortje replied. “If I avoid the frost, I’ll be safe enough.”
The officer studied the document. “I take it you’re a perennial?”
Doortje giggled. “Depends. We’re all perennials at birth, of course.
Crane Bill cuttings on my Mother’s side. My auntie is almost forty years old.”
“How nice,” he said. “Mine never last more than a season.
Suicidal little buggers.”
Dortje frowned. A tinge of anger crept into her voice.
“We can only live our life according to the affection we are given.
We need to avoid frost at all costs. It murders us straightaway.
Intense summer sun is difficult too. We crave afternoon shade.”
He handed her document back. “Sorry. Meant no harm.”
“None taken. If you’ll love those buggers of yours, they’ll love you back.
Fare-thee-well,” she called, “I’ve a plane to catch.”
“Next,” he said.
. . . j