by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)
A cowboy goes under a turrible strain,
When he tries to wear boots that’s been soaked in the rain.
He pulls and he wiggles, and after he’s tried,
He gits him some flour and sprinkles inside.
Then he gits him two jack knives; puts one in each lug
And he stomps and he pulls till his eyes start to bug.
Next he tries a broom handle—an awful mistake.
Which same he finds out when he feels the lug break.
The toes and the heels they bust out of his socks,
And it’s awful to hear how that cowpuncher talks.
He opens his knife and it shore is a sin,
Fer he cuts his new boots till his feet will go in.
I reckon, old-timer, you know how he feels.
You have kicked bunk house walls and the chuck wagon wheels.
And you know when yore older, there’s nothin’ to gain
From buyin’ tight boots if you work in the rain.
…by Bruce Kiskaddon
This poem was included in Kiskaddon’s 1935 book, Western Poems.
Kiskaddon worked for ten years as a cowboy, starting in 1898, working in southeastern Colorado’s Picketwire area. He wrote many poems still read and recited today.
Talented Montanan Johnny “Guitar” Reedy, 13, recites the poem on the new 3-CD project from Cowboy Poetry.com, MASTERS: VOLUME THREE, the poetry of Bruce Kiskaddon. His sister, Brigid Reedy and their father, John Reedy, also contributed recitations to the new CD. They all perform at events across the West.
Find much more poetry and more about Bruce Kiskaddon in our features at CowboyPoetry.com.
This 1940 photo by Russell Lee (1903-1986) is titled, “Cowboy pulling on boots, rodeo, Quemado, New Mexico.” It’s from the Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection at The Library of Congress.
Find a feature about noted photographer and teacher Russell Lee with a gallery of photographs from the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.
This poem and photograph are in the public domain.