The boot was made of very fine leather,
Tooled by an ancient Italian craftsman,
who had learned bootmaking from his father,
and his father before him,
generations of Italian bootmakers
who purchased the best leather
and refused to bend to accommodate the times.
A pair of boots might take six months to make
from start to finish,
With intricate carvings worked into the leather.
I was that boot, made of fine brown leather;
with a very dark wooden heel
and a great deal of design carved into the leather;
First I was worn by an Italian clothing designer,
a man quite fussy with his appearance,
Gay, you might say, but he took good care of me,
and I was cleaned and polished once a week
by his manservant.
When the designer changed his “look” I was
discarded but the manservant rescued me and
sold me, and my twin,
to a used clothing store
where a cowboy discovered us
and took us to America;
There I lived on a cattle ranch
and was often scuffed and dirty,
but it was an exciting life and I didn’t mind
the grit and soil. When my cowboy removed
us from his feet at night, we all sighed with relief.
For a while we could breathe.
Eventually, the cowboy had worn down my heel
and there was a hole in my sole,
that no amount of cardboard could remedy,
the cowboy tossed me and my twin
into a dumpster, where we languished
for a time.
and then–a gardener found me and pulled me
out of the trash;
I do not know what happened to my twin.
The gardener took me to his home
and filled me up with dirt
and then added cacti;
I had a new life;
I was a planter,
willing to stand in the rain
or the sun
protecting the cactus that
happily grew out of the top.
Sandra Lee Smith
Originally posted June 5, 2009
Updated October 20, 2018