I thought it was easily the ugliest building
That I had ever seen,
And when Mr. Frapp, the lawyer, told me it was
I wanted to lay my head down on his pristine
Desktop and cry.
Of course, I couldn’t do that.
“You should be happy!” Attorney Frapp scolded me
As he noted the distress on my face.
“Of course it needs a little work,” he said. “But
What a wonderful inheritance from your
Great Aunt Gertrude!”
I didn’t even like Great-Aunt Gertrude and
I’m sure she knew it. How like her to bequeath
This ancient old falling-down building to me,
Where she had lived in solitary splendor
On the top floor.
My mother, may she rest in peace, took me
To see Great-Aunt Gertrude once when I was a
Little girl; there was absolutely nothing to
do but sit on a chair and sip tea and eat
Stale cookies that Auntie referred to as “biscotti”.
The apartment building should have gone
To my mother. How very like mama to die first
And leave me to deal with this disgusting inheritance.
Finally, Mr. Frapp, who had been tapping his pen
Against a sheet of paper on his desk, mildly suggested,
“You could always sell, I suppose – I might even
Have someone interested in buying the building
SELL? My ears perked up and I sat up straighter/
I hadn’t given a thought about selling!
“How much do you think I can get for it?”
I eagerly asked Attorney Frapp.
Sandra Lee Smith/April, 2009