During the summer it didn’t matter much,
My old boots fit good and were soft to the touch,
The hole in the right one let in the dust and the light,
But the left one was still solid and tight.
Now you need to know before I go further,
That my right leg is longer than the other,
Owing to a bad break some years ago,
Sort’ a like a cowpoke or two that I know.
So my right boot tends to scuff and to wear,
Faster than the left one of the pair,
It starts at the heel and moves on to the sole,
Where the stitches and leather melt away in a hole.
And with the coming of a colorful fall,
My boots still didn’t bug me at all,
With the price of replacements so doggoned high,
All that came is was some dust and some sky.
I was bound and determined to make ‘em last,
Remembering that old refrain from out of the past,
Use it up and wear it out,
Make it do or do without.
And besides all that, I was attached to my boots,
A set of high heels, pointy toes and some loops,
At the top of the leathers to pull ’em on snug,
Over my socks with just a light little tug.
Then winter set in with a gust and a growl,
Plenty of snow and winds that would howl,
That old right boot there on my foot,
Let in the mud, the snow and the soot.
So what to do in such a straight?
I scratched my head to ponder my fate,
To part with my boots left me in despair,
Like losing my hat or combing my hair.
So I pondered a moment and devised a plan,
Something so clever that most every man,
Would congratulate me on this stroke of smart,
So proud was I deep within my heart.
I’d grab that tube of liquid nails,
And apply it over the boot that tells,
The tale of many a mile and endless weeks,
And of the sock that through it all peeks.
And then did I - I went to work,
Applying the stuff with a mighty squirt,
I spread it over and mooshed it all in,
Right about where you would find my skin.
My boot was fixed and I was pleased,
What a relief I thought as I squeezed,
My foot into the boot with no more hole.
The uppers were solid and so was the sole.
My big toe seemed awfully warm,
No need to panic - no need for alarm,
It was just nice for once that day,
To be warm in my boot as I went on my way.
Then night came and I sat on my trunk,
To remove my boots and climb into my bunk,
I pulled off the left one and it slid off easy.
As I pulled the right one my gut got queasy.
The liquid nails – you know that glue,
Had set up hard in the shape of my shoe,
And dried to my sock and around of my toe,
Try as I might it wouldn’t let go.
Applying a bootjack to my heal,
I knew then that my troubles were real,
Though my heal came up and then came loose,
My big toe was stuck in that gluey noose.
Tug as I might it wouldn’t let go,
The boot was glued to my sock and my toe.
I sat there and fussed in this a dither of dithers,
Sweat pouring out from my hocks and my withers.
Tugging and pulling only loosened my sock,
It stretched and twisted around of my hock,
Stuck in the middle of a tight toe jam,
I said to myself - I’m in a bind - I am.
In this hour of greatest travail,
My face turned a whiter shade of pale,
I felt the sweat from off of my hock,
Run down my foot and into my sock.
The warm liquid mixed in with the goo,
Melting away the hardened glue.
As the gluey toe jam began to slip,
My cowboy boot slowly lost its grip.
Liberated from this shackle of glue,
I got philosophical as I often do,
Slipping free from these hoppers of clod,
I wondered - Is this the meaning of “slip shod?”
November 07, 2007