my grandmothers tree

Dear Ngozi,

Reveal Robert “Bad Bob” Zimmermann’s eight French-Canadian middle names… Jacques and Laurent are almost definitely in there since they are established family names… But what about the rest?

The man is almost 60, you can’t convince me he didn’t end up with a whack of middle names when he was born. He was born pre-Quiet Revolution. There’s gotta be a René or Jean tucked in there somewhere. Probably an Alphonse or Pierre. Maybe an Émile or Claude?

Just… Give me Bad Bob’s absurdly long birth certificate.

He is
the comfort
of a familiar place and
the nostalgic smile
from childhood summers
by the canteen;
the fragrance of
clay from potted kitchen sets and
the flavour of delicate fruits
off my grandmother’s guava tree.
He is
the calm from
the pouring rainstorms
on the rooftop,
the song from
my petrichor dreams.
He keeps the past demons
in their graves and
helps me to only see
my pleasant memories.