1-520-281-0512 My Boots: A Poem by Kim Strellis – Paul Bond

My Boots: A Poem by Kim Strellis

As many of you know, Paul Bond Boots made the trip to Jackson Hole, WY this past year for the Western Design Conference. Upon arrival, we set up our booth quickly as we were eager to head to the town square before the true hustle and bustle began. As a first timer in JH, I was blown away by the natural beauty and artisanship that surrounded us. Bobbing and weaving throughout all the little shops and restaurants, we came across a quaint wooden box which read – “Poetry Box, Pick One and Enjoy.” Of course I was intrigued and drew a poem from the box, and surprisingly what came next was an interesting and somewhat confusing poem about cowboy boots. Ironic, huh? It read:

My Boots
On the shelf, collecting dust
Unworn, except for try-ons
A sealed deal of least expensive
Brought em’ home
Then the walk around
The leather lied, but I had hope
Back on the shelf
Then in their time
They ended up
Being the best
Or was it me
That softened in the soles
Kim Strellis

The reason I bring it up now, after so many months, is because for one reason or another, it stuck with me. I think primarily because I didn’t quite understand what it meant. Was it about a person who grew to love their boots over time? Was it as simple as breaking in a new pair of cowboy boots? Or was it even about boots at all?

After a quick first read, I thought to myself, well that was depressing… the poor guy bought an ill-fitting pair of boots! But after diving a little deeper, I realized it wasn’t depressing at all. To me, this poem is about a man, who grew and changed over his lifetime. Somewhere along the way he purchased a pair of cowboy boots but for some reason, they never felt quite right. In my mind, it wasn’t until he was ready to wear them that he realized their precious nature. In the end not only had the soles of his boots softened, but so had the soul of the man.

*Kim, if you are reading this - I would love to know the thoughts and sentiments behind the writing.

This got me to thinking, if you look back through time, the history of cowboy boots is quite rich with influences from all the over the world. While styles have certainly come and gone, one thing has remained true - the people who wear them are in a league of their own. Those special cowboys and cowgirls are often referred to in literature as the salt of the earth, and I can personally attest to their pure spirits and strong hearts. Some might even say they have soft souls just as the poem implies. People who wear cowboy boots, particularly custom cowboy boots, tend to have a passion for old world craftsmanship and quality materials. When they wear their boots, they wear them with pride because they know the great love and care put into every stitch and every layer. Whether you realize it now or not, I know one thing to be true, cowboy boots are woven into the lining of not only American culture, but the world's culture, and for that, I am grateful to play a role in continuing this fine form of custom craftsmanship.

It's funny how such a little poem can spark such a big thought - thank you Kim!

Alex Bloodworth
Alex Bloodworth


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