Dear Mother,

A soldier’s meal
Is never veal,
But grain and eggs and water.

The pauper’s lot
May smell of rot;
She dreams her meals were hotter.

While troubadours
Seek wine and whores,
The sacraments of Alma mater,

The bardic duty
To see all their beauty,
Sought ever by your daughter,

Was never a chore
For her love grows more
For all the world has taught her.

Ugh. There’s something there worth buffing out, but I’m afraid my poetic instinct is growing dormant as I write less poetry and more prose. I spend so much time fighting against my chosen form rather than allowing it to serve as a gentle channel for my being.

The amount of prose being demanded by the circumstances will soon pass, I hope. The news from the countryside grows thick and tangled, and I’ve been navigating through it with my friends—you know how the adventuring life is, what with human nobles and kings scrambling to get their affairs in order, especially those that require talents like ours, while events hurtle toward some sort of climax. No, there’s no need to worry, I’m not going to be putting myself in the way of any marauding armies. I’m just doing my best to do right by the people around us, no matter what the men with swords have to say about it.

But I will admit to the other thing you’re always reminding me of. It’s been far too long since I’ve been home. It’s been far too long since I’ve gotten to hear your voice, to try to hone my clumsy, adolescent elvish against your splendid, consummate mother tongue. It gets better every day on the road, but I know. I know that despite my embarrassment at my flailing, that despite your fears that I’d never have enough time to truly learn the High Tongue, we were always truly happiest when I was reciting the Lema a’ i’ Numen… and you would call me a laito sintar.

I’ll be back soon.