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The Nicest Person

On tuesdays after she had been out shopping she pushed her
trolley home along the street
And she would say good day to everybody the friendliest
person you could wish to meet
Her gray hair well combed always looked so tidy and she
always dressed well and always looked so neat
And she looked well for one in her mid seventies with a perfect set of her own clean white teeth.

Old Joan she told me all about Melinda of how about an easy
life she never knew
Her husband died when their two daughters were schoolkids
and Melinda herself only thirty two
But she did cleaning jobs to raise her daughters the hardest
working person in the town
She rose at dawn for to cook for them their breakfast and
she had little time for sitting down.

Before herself she always put her children and they always
looked so well dressed and well fed
And she for them was such a great role model Melinda by
good example always led
Her daughters married well and gave her grandkids and though from her they lived long miles away
They always kept in touch with their dear mother and rang
her often every second day.

Melinda had not been seen for a few days and one of her
neighbours thought he would do the right thing
He could see the light still switched on in her lounge room and he felt he ought to give the cops a ring
The police came and found Melinda's body and it had the strong stench of death and decay
In her lounge room she had disturbed a burglar her dried blood on the carpet where she lay.

She won't be seen again on tuesday mornings pushing her shopping trolley home along the street
And she will be sadly missed by all who knew her the nicest person one could wish to meet
She never knew an easy life Melinda and of others she only had good to say
And surely she deserved a better ending she did not deserve to die in such a way.

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Pablo Neruda

If You Forget Me

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