For Ryan Brush
Assume, behind the scripted quirks,
the shop-keep patter, off-hours pathing,
the quips and barbs proffered in passing,
a life is lived where worry works
into and through each token gesture,
where hunger, illness, debts accrue,
and long forgotten sins come due,
and love is lost, and insults fester.
Whatever greater dangers loom,
they lurk beyond more present pain.
If noticed, marked as distant fears,
they fade into a tavern’s gloom
where between boasts of tankards slain
a sigh is heaved no hero hears.
Richard Porter is a medium-sized aberration whose poetry has appeared in The Asses of Parnassus and Better Than Starbucks. Its amorphous body is composed of chattering, ululating mouths and any creature that overhears their cacophonous gibbering must make a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw or succumb to madness.