Seventeen Dollars and Eighty-Five Cents...The Story of a Life

Utah JayStarred Page By Utah Jay, 26th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/32aa2od-/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Poetry

Last summer at the clinic I got a call that there was a problem with my sister who is twenty years my elder. I got to her house as fast as I could.

Seventeen Dollars and Eighty-Five Cents


Seventeen Dollars and Eighty-Five Cents

Outside, by the police cars
All her cats had lined up,
Each one with big round eyes
As if they knew their easy times
Had come to an end.

Up On the Roof



While up on the roof
The pigeons sat in ruffled humps
Waiting for the lady of the house
To bring the bread crumbs out
As she did each and every morning.

On the Steps


On the steps
Of the front porch
And in the chairs there
Sat all of her neighbors,
All seven of them in tears,
Knowing that the neighborhood mother
Had an awful spill.

The Air Thick and Heavy


Inside, the air was thick and heavy.
There was a certain stillness about it
That seemed to catch me by surprise.
She didn’t deserve to go like this
In a crumpled mess
On the floor

Between the kitchen table
And the front room door.
Her last sign of life
Pooled there, on the floor
Her purple face
Contorted in an empty stare.

Is This Your Sister


The police asked me
If this was my sister,
Like she was some kind of thing.
I just nodded my head yes.
On the coffee table
The police had scattered
The story of her life
In five little rows
On the coffee table
That ended with seventeen dollars
And eighty-five cents

Seventeen Dollars and Eighty-Five Cents



Seven-teen dollars and eighty-five cents
Was this all her life came down to?
Money she would of surely divided
Between the neighbors
And the cats.

The First Christmas



This will be the first Christmas
Without my sister with us
And I not sure just what I should do
With her present,
A nice warm robe in her favorite color
That I found on sale
Early last April,


But we wrapped it up
Just the same.


Words and photos by uTAH jAY

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Tags

A Sisters Love, Cats, Cats As Pets, Cats At Home, Cats Showing Their Love, Sister, The Spirit, The Story Of Life, Through Thick And Thin, Throughout Life

Meet the author

author avatar Utah Jay
I have been writing since the beginning of time it seems, not because I want to write, but because I have too. My favorite form of writing is poetry, all kinds and types of poetry.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
26th Mar 2015 (#)

Now THIS is good writing.

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author avatar Retired
26th Mar 2015 (#)

That's lovely poetry, and I like the pictures too.

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author avatar Kingwell
26th Mar 2015 (#)

Good share my friend.

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author avatar spirited
26th Mar 2015 (#)

You really write about life as it is Utah Jay, raw, but also so touchingly honestly.

It reminds me of how my uncle died in his flat on his own too. He was dead there for two weeks before my brother found him though.

Then the immediate neighbours in his block of flats complained about the stench, that's all they cared about.

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author avatar Retired
27th Mar 2015 (#)

this is another amazing piece.
Sorry bout ya sis though.

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author avatar Carol Roach
27th Mar 2015 (#)

I feel your pain,

Christmas was never the same without my grandmother

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author avatar Retired
27th Mar 2015 (#)

Sorry about your lost. Also I feel so bad for the cats. But beautiful post!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
27th Mar 2015 (#)

Tough to lose someone close to us and that too so suddenly but that is life. Poignant share Utah Jay, we have to move on - siva

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
27th Mar 2015 (#)

You know, when my dad passed, mum wasn't prepared and she was a widow at 46. There was no money in the house for the funeral and it was a friend who assisted and only because we owned half the business back then. We got the funeral underway and I flew in from Singapore and took care of everything and this included the legalities of his passing too.
Well I have travelled to the UK with just $500 in hand and showed that it is possible, it was possible but frankly when it is death and crime, chances are all the evidence speaks and points the direction it and some cases are eventually solved while others remain cases to be solved.
Crime always fascinated me, although I am not a criminal. I wanted to be a police officer and a forensics detective and had my chance to live it in recent days but said not for me because a child needs their mother alive not dead.

Take care. No one recovers from death, they just cover it and think about when idle and no one else needs to know where the mind is for no one understands grief in normalcy of a persons life. Some people slit themselves others go suicide and wayward and many others just get stoic. I went stoic and never was the same again post my fathers' passing 10 years ago.

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author avatar Utah Jay
27th Mar 2015 (#)

Thank you Jessica.

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author avatar Utah Jay
27th Mar 2015 (#)

Thank you so much CoffeeQueen.

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author avatar Utah Jay
27th Mar 2015 (#)

Thanks Kingwell.

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author avatar Utah Jay
27th Mar 2015 (#)

Yes, spirited, death can be a bad situation. I have smelled the smell of death before, it is worse than the smell of skunks. It really gets to a person and then they forget everything but that smell. It is all very sad.

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author avatar Utah Jay
27th Mar 2015 (#)

Thank you David, but she is just fine now on the other side.

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author avatar Utah Jay
27th Mar 2015 (#)

Thanks Carol, it is the holidays and the birthdays when I miss her most, but we will be together again. Of this I am sure.

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author avatar Utah Jay
27th Mar 2015 (#)

Thanks Carmen, we called a no-kill shelter and they came and took care of the cats, all but those the neighbors wanted.

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author avatar Utah Jay
27th Mar 2015 (#)

Thanks Sivar, and you are so right, death of the mortal body is a part of life.

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author avatar Utah Jay
27th Mar 2015 (#)

Thanks Lady. Sure, I miss her, but it is not like she is dead, she has just moved to the other side. I am so happy for her.

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author avatar Retired
28th Mar 2015 (#)

What passes for a symbol of the summation of an existence makes a statement in a mournful verse. You are incredible, Utah. You paint a memorial mosaic with your words.

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