by Mary Margaret Dougherty

There’s a 101 brand hanging on my wall
My grandmother’s brand and her grandmother's before her
Two women who outlived husbands and
ran the ranch themselves.

There’s a goose egg carved into the headstone of
the family plot in the cemetery
My grandfather then Dad used that one
For me, a bar singed under.

There’s a rafter 7 burned into wood above my sink
My husband scorches Longhorn hide with electricity
His father’s iron came from a fire.

There’s a walking P of gold encircled with gilded rope
on my mother’s third finger
Her personal display of Grandfather’s cow id.

And here I am amidst them
wearing all the brands.

Copyright 2023 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.