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

From you.”

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

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