Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "An Iron Fist"

This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, and is the linkback perk for the December 3, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl.  It fills the "Iron" square in my 10-1-19 card for the Fall Festival Bingo. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.


An Iron Fist


[Monday, August 24, 2015]

Shiv loved metal,
and especially the iron
that Tolli brought him.

It was rare for the blacksmith
to see him without offering
this or that tidbit of metal
for Shiv to play with.

He loved sorting them
by their qualities, letting
his superpower play over
the different billets.

Shiv would order them
from hardest to toughest,
from corrosion resistant
to edge retaining, based
on the opposed traits.

Wear resistance was
off on its own line, though
it related closer to hardness
and usually wasn't as tough.

Tolli showed Shiv a set of
hematite worry beads, and
that gave Shiv the idea
to make his own with
different types of iron.

He would hold them in
his hand, flicking the beads
along the string with his thumb
or even his superpower, thinking
about the qualities of each one.

So whenever he heard that
someone had an iron fist, he
couldn't help wondering what kind ...

and whether he could break it.

* * *

Notes:

The five key properties of steel are hardness, toughness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and edge retention.  These were described in "Meraki."

Komboloi or Greek worry beads are often made of hematite.

an iron fist
or
an iron hand
COMMON If you do something with an iron fist or an iron hand, you do it with great force and strength. The Generals have ruled the nation with an iron fist for more than half of its independent existence. Peace was enforced with an iron hand in the conquered territories. Note: You can also talk about the iron fist of or the the iron hand of something. The symbol of their rule was not so much the iron fist of repression as the empty shelves of a failing economy.
Tags: crafts, cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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