my daddy wears cowboy boots (most days)
we were homeschooled (mostly)
but there were a few years
when our parents sent us to montessori school
(as they sorted out what they were going to do)

there is a picture of me and my baby sister
on our first day of “real” school
she (my sister) is in the sweetest
pastel patterned dress with a crisp white collar
and i’m in skin tight levis blue jeans
with cowboy boots mid calf
my hair pulled and slicked back super tight
and my t-shirt tucked in at the waist
(dressed just like my daddy did)

i have worked from home
for the last eight years
and almost never wear shoes
(flip-flops maybe)
but i really don’t like the feeling
of things on my feet
(this by the way has saved me a lot of money
because from what i hear, fancy shoes
cost so many moneys,
and i need more expensive obsessions
like i need a hole in the head)

i live in boulder, colorado
and one day after getting my hair done
and grabbing an extra hot whole milk latte
i had a few minutes before my ride came
and so i went a-wandering…

window shopping used to be
one of my favorite things
(now i hate it, can hardly stand it
and just want to go in and get what i need)

but something (someone) caught my eye
a woman dressed just like I was
my very first day of school (nearly 28 years ago)

she was in her store window rearranging things
and so I took my wandering in…

the place smelled of leather
and rememberings of my parents’ new car
(the black volvo they got when I was just a little thing)
as i meandered to the back,
stopped in my tracks by a giant stand of cowboy boots

oh! i thought, as memories began flickering
i want! i want these i think i do

and so i began touching all of them
(as i’m prone to do, if something interests me
i tend to wanna feel it, sense it, know it)
when the woman said
“what’s your size, dear
i think i have just the pair for you”

i slipped on the cowboy boots she brought me
and it was like being barefoot inside a shoe

i bought red ones and black ones
and brown ones with pink flowers
i almost got the turquoise ones
but it seemed too extreme
for my first shoe purchase in years

i now own six pairs and they are all so distinct
(they seem to have their own personalities)
but they all make me feel
strong and grounded
just like my daddy always did
(as he still does)

as i’ve grown older
i’ve heard from more and more people
how rare it was to have a daddy
as i did, (as i do)
always there,
steadfast and caring,
interested and available
loving really

i’ve been having to make
some big adult decisions lately,
things about property, business, insurance
(you know the not so fun adulty things)
and i still call my dad,
i do

thank you daddy
for my love of cowboy boots
but thank you mostly for being here
(with me always)

he has left me
some giant shoes
to fill
and every day
it’s what i aim
to do…

i aim
to fill his shoes

 ❤️ emily joy rosen

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