Rough-Out Boots

by Bob E. Lewis (1929-2001)

Jake was headed for the line camp
That was 20 miles north of town.
He had to go right through it
To get to the camp where he was bound.

He tied his mount and packhorse in the alley
Behind the cafe where he liked to go.
For there was a pretty young waitress there
That, sometime back, he had gotten to know.

He wore his favorite boots that day
That had tall yellow tops of course.
He just wouldn’t feel right without them
When he was sitting on his horse.

The bottoms had been rough out leather,
Although you sure couldn’t tell it now.
He’d worn those old boots so many years
They were as smooth as a bald man’s brow.

He felt a hand upon him
As he started in the door.
He looked around, saw no one
Till he looked down toward the floor.

There was this young kid with a shine kit
Looking straight into his face.
He said how about a shine man?
A better one you’ll not get anyplace.

Now son, I don’t think I should change a thing
Of the way these old boots look now.
They have earned the right to look this way.
Or that’s how I feel anyhow.

But I tell you what I will do
If it will make you feel any better.
If you’ll reach down and unbuckle them
You can shine my new spur leathers.

Thanks again to Bob Lewis for bein’ so generous with his poetry.


  • Shoot! I hope by now you’ve wandered over to the Rafter “L” Ranch to read more poetry.
  • You can read more poetry by Bob Lewis on pages 4, 6, and 7 of this book of “Bootnik Poetry”.

© Bob E. Lewis, 1999. All poems are copyright the artist and should not be reproduced without permission.