Iron will

Emanated from red, impossible
glow, heat consumes hair and flesh—alive,
unwilling nerve—strongly held and branded.

An iron will is needed in the process of branding, willing subject or not. Hot branding, aka fire branding, is known to be painful as the instrument, glowing with heat, causes thermal injury to the skin and results in permanent alopecia (hair loss).

Written for Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge – Glow

Welfare Implications of Hot-Iron Branding and Its Alternatives

The meaning “iron instrument for branding” is from 1828. The meaning “mark made by a hot iron” (1550s) […]

Online Etymology Dictionary
Branding irons on branding day at the Ladder Livestock Ranch’s cattle operation in Moffat County
(Public Domain – CCO via RawPixel)

Featured photo “Branding Cattle” by Jose Fagundes via Pexels

Poems & Poetic Prose


Human branding at Burning Man
Cattle Branding Then and Now
On the historical branding of slaves
A vegan’s view on cattle branding

3 thoughts on “Iron will”

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