2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 10

And just. Like. That. We’re on Day 10 of this challenge. One third of the way through and after today, a baseline of at least 10 poems. Let’s write.

For today’s prompt, write a going somewhere poem. Where is the poem going? And who is traveling along? Or what? And why? Don’t know; it’s up to you and your poem to enlighten us.

*****

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Here’s my attempt at a Going Somewhere Poem:

“Whether by boat or by train”

Whether by boat or by train,
she never leaves me alone.
Even though I’m always gone,
she echoes around my brain.
Whether by car or by plane,
I’m the one who’s never there–
always, I’m going somewhere–
and it can drive me insane,
because there’s nowhere to be
that’s better than in her arms.
Whether by boat or by train,
there’s nobody else to see
or who I would rather charm
than the ghost inside my brain.

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Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He’s a bit of a homebody, but he prefers traveling by car when he does have to travel. Nothing against boats, planes, or trains, but he prefers to be behind the wheel, especially when driving down new roads.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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255 thoughts on “2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 10

  1. Brandi Noelle

    A Writer’s Travel

    The joys of a writer
    Allow for escape
    In worlds of self-creation
    Some purely fiction
    Others destinations that are beloved
    Be it small town Wyoming
    Where the residents love as family
    The nation’s capital
    Where cold streets beckon the unruly
    Perhaps a step back into time
    To an old west cattle ranch
    A trip abroad to the old country
    For the charm of Irish song
    If ever reality is too much to bear
    Or, if I should need a distraction
    My writing pen will ensure
    I’ll be going somewhere

  2. Angie5804

    She could be sleeping in her room above the bar
    Though I’ve never seen it
    Or walking her dog on the path in the woods
    I’ve never been down
    Or driving through Starbucks getting her favorite mocha frappuccino
    Listening to a song I’ve never heard
    Or stretching on her yoga mat
    In a class somewhere

  3. seingraham

    THE GENDERFICATION OF TRAVEL

    Travelling has taken on a whole new dimension
    now that GPS accompanies me like a trusted guide,
    whether it’s built into the car I drive, or an app
    on the phone I’m carrying, I’m never without
    a handy, knowledgeable Sherpa-like escort.
    One whose data-base is inexhaustible, and
    depending on who I opt to monitor my plans, one
    who seems able to read my mind, predict my moves
    and anticipate problems before they happen.

    The only hitch in my get-along seemed to be the annoying
    voice attendant to the instructions given with unwavering
    but insistent directives. For the longest time, only “Siri”,
    Apple’s female voice-box, was the one that told me to do
    all, most annoyingly, things like, “make a legal U-turn.”
    Or, informed me that she was “recalculating, recalculating”,
    if I hadn’t deigned to follow her instructions but went off-grid
    (something I found, felt oddly liberating after awhile).

    How happy was I to discover I could finally replace Siri’s voice?
    I fooled around with the three or four new voices on offer
    and eventually settled on the Australian male – I tried
    to change his name to “Sir I” but he gently told me,
    “I’m sorry S E, Apple does not permit me to change my name.”
    When I told him, “Well, that sucks.” Sir I replied,
    “Whatever you say, S E.” Now we’re getting somewhere.
    A dude with attitude. He might even get me to make a U-turn.

  4. bmorrison9

    Moving On

    On the last night
    we sat on milk crates
    on the porch,
    watching fireflies
    winking from the trees,
    sipping scotch,
    telling stories.
    Behind us rooms stretched,
    empty, my treasures
    enroute to the north.
    We’ve been here before,
    Other porches, other times.
    But also my first night here
    on these same milk crates,
    marveling at fireflies,
    the smoky strength
    of scotch, and the long
    sweep of our memories.

  5. ToniBee3

    entering climacteric

    where my moods and vibrissal grays
    these days rise and fall
    like empires and soufflés

    days where i cross eyes and dot t’s
    necks and peas i could snap
    i suck like fleas

    but find a minty-cool in juleps
    mini-steps get me through this grand-pause
    my bosoms like tender tulips

    a flow with an absence
    no lab-sense to when valves shut off wholly
    i morph and enter my new balance

  6. cobanionsmith

    You Are Here

    a red star
    an arrow pointing
    where
    a beginning
    a point A place
    or another point
    on the journey
    plot a path
    a trajectory
    nothing stops
    time’s march
    orientates the pilgrim
    ever forward
    never stopped
    all moving
    whether going
    somewhere
    or leaving
    something else
    heading to
    the same destination
    the black dot
    that’s not a
    flat full stop
    but an opening
    right here.

    Courtney O’Banion Smith
    @cobanionsmith

  7. robinamelia

    Flying Squirrel’s Journey

    The have-a-heart caught you in our attic,
    planning a nice warm winter retreat,
    while we were trying to sleep.

    Of course you wanted to burrow in our cozy attic
    with its mismatched skis and wedding dresses.
    That veil would make such a nice place for the babies.

    But we put you on the front steps, encaged.
    Scared, you ate the peanuts I tossed through.
    You didn’t know you were waiting for your journey to begin.

    In the trunk, you scratched madly against the bars,
    but your big journey was over quickly: the gate slid up.
    You cling to the back terrified, expecting the worst.

    Placed level on the ground, you think, then shoot away.
    Racing—no not to the road–up the pine.
    Sitting on a branch fifty feet up, you glance

    back in the direction we’ve come, but even now,
    the past is vanishing,
    replaced by the utter joy of freedom.

  8. Erbiage

    Pain keeps rolling, all night long

    Heads of steam
    Ephemeral cauliflower clouds
    Puff puff puff

    Relentless, mean
    Greasy dripping, loud
    Pistons huff and chuff

    Leaping deep stream
    On rails strong and unbowed
    West, west! Passed butte and bluff

  9. Domino

    For those of you who don’t know, I am a writer. My co-author and I have been invited to attend TusCon44 as writer guests. It is a tremendous honor for such a newby as me.
    The first book came out this spring, it’s titled “Cause and Effect: Chloe’s Story.” It may be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The second book was due to come out this week, in time for the convention, but things got delayed as they sometimes do… Anyway, it will be out soon
    So here I am in Tucson at this convention with no books to sign, but I am a guest! And I get to do panels! So exciting. And the prompt today was to write a poem about “going places.” The irony does not escape me.

    Going Somewhere

    Oh, doesn’t it sound fraught?
    A bit overdramatic?
    Self-important.
    In my mind, my mother tells
    seven-year-old me not to get too big for my britches
    and my great-grandmother’s eyes sparkle with excitement.
    (She would have read the book, all right,
    But would not have liked the naughty bits, I think.)

    It’s important to make an appearance, you know.
    It’s good to meet people,
    helpful people and people that like to read,
    and people who want to brush shoulders
    and all that.
    I LIKE people. I’m just not so sure
    I’m ready to be this person.

    But ready or not, it’s time to really
    go somewhere.

  10. Bruce Niedt

    Cold Snap

    that Arctic air mass
    has got to go somewhere
    but why to my house?

    shirtsleeves yesterday –
    now, rummaging my closet
    for that winter coat

    freeze warnings tonight –
    the growing season strangled
    by icy fingers

    wind rattles windows
    the air fills with blowing leaves
    crisper than before

    records predicted –
    we’ll need an extra blanket
    and more snuggles

    not so bad, I guess ,
    if it helps us get closer –
    want some hot cocoa?

  11. Walter J Wojtanik

    HEADING TO HENDERSON

    I have a friend in Henderson,
    a true connection in that section
    of the woods. Actually, I have two.

    One views life poetically, matching
    muse and mirth and very worth
    engaging in repartee. A master
    at wordplay, It is to say
    I am in awe of her written wonder.

    The other viewed life pathetically,
    taking a detour through the hell of her
    indecision and fear, it is there
    to which she had escaped and draped
    herself in a cumbersome cloak of despair.

    One knows I found a friend there,
    the other really had no clue.
    Actually, I have two.

  12. Jane Shlensky

    Destinations

    I see the blank look on her face,
    that pause that senior moments cause
    mid-step. I know just how she feels
    that bite of memory swallowed down.
    “Where were you going?” Papa asks,
    knowing full well that she’s forgot.
    “Nowhere you need think about,”
    she snaps, wanting to box his ears.
    She knows she is forgetful now—
    cannot recall when it started—
    but she will not diminish him
    when he stands staring into space.
    Sometimes the destinations stay,
    roundtrips are made, small tasks are done,
    but more and more she’s on her way
    to God knows where when purpose flags.
    She thinks of herself as a child
    always returning from a jaunt
    with treasures found along the way—
    a perfect leaf, a colored stone,
    a root of sassafras, a twig.
    And that’s what she does now, observes,
    continuing until she sees
    a sweater (does she feel a chill?),
    a pad and pen (a thought could come),
    a picture that needs straightening,
    a book that is marked near to the end.
    Oh, my, so much to do today.
    Time passes almost like a wind.

  13. Jane Shlensky

    Short Trips

    The laundry’s done; the house is clean;
    the leaves are blown back for today;
    a pot of soup is simmering;
    and now I need to get away.

    I have an hour to myself,
    no family or pet in need.
    I pour a glass of wine, relax,
    for I deserve some time to read.

    I lapse into a minute’s space,
    the characters return like friends
    borne of another time and place,
    and I escape where sunlight bends.

    It’s only a small getaway,
    a respite from my normal life,
    somewhere to go, just for a day,
    somewhere I’m not grandma or wife.

  14. Jane Shlensky

    Legends

    We move along a dotted line
    from Swan Quarter to Okracoke,
    the Pamlico a choppy blue,
    the ferry fierce at thirteen knots.
    What was gray sky has burned away
    to deep October’s sunny snap.
    We fold the map, take out the cards,
    play rummy, no cell service now,
    wait ‘til the lighthouse comes to view
    as now, the inland waterway
    stretches toward the outer banks,
    to Okracoke’s safe inner shore
    and the Atlantic’s crashing waves.
    We rent a golf cart, park the car,
    and walk most everywhere we go.
    We travel slow, lay time aside,
    for island life admires long breaths.
    We listen to the songs of wind,
    to sea birds and marsh grasses’ hiss,
    to thoughts that life can be like this—
    feeding the feral Okracats,
    sampling flights of island beer,
    visiting graves from long ago
    when ship wrecks took up church yard ground
    and pirates harbored in these parts.
    Such stories for a stormy night,
    so much of island used for graves,
    you feel the dead around you still,
    as if souls walk a dotted line
    from flesh into a spirit realm,
    as if their every move was mapped
    to come to rest on Okracoke
    in peace along these waterways.

  15. De Jackson

    AMC Concord, FM Radio

    Somewhere unforgiven
    time will wait for you
    – Beck

    Keep the car running, Love;
    on the street and waiting
    for us to do that Bonnie &
    Clyde thing. That go for a ride
    thing where we disappear
    down the yellow line into
    all that blue.

    Keep your eyes on the road,
    Love. We’ve got a million
    miles to go, and love’s not
    quite enough to fuel us
                           (fool us)
    in full.

    Keep your hands on the wheel,
    Love. Keep the radio on
    and playing our song
    until the stars
    sing it,
         too.

    ::

  16. Nancy Posey

    Haven’t I Seen You Somewhere Before?

    he asked each girl he met,
    the blonde beside him in the elevator,
    the jogger beside him in the park,
    the one wearing the Tar Heels t-shirt
    on the plane back from Haiti,
    the shy red-head beside him
    at the book festival, his earnest attempt
    to meet smart girls, clever ones.

    Probably not, said the new barista
    at his favorite coffee shop,
    no further explanation. Been to Reno?
    asked his bank teller, and when
    he said no, she said Me neither.
    If you had, you’d remember,
    said the plain but pleasant nurse
    caring for him mother, writing
    her name on the white board,
    but no phone number.

    If you come to these readings,
    you probably have, said the ginger.
    Wouldn’t miss one, he replied,
    knowing from now on,
    he certainly wouldn’t be
    anywhere else.

  17. MHR

    “are you going somewhere?”

    when she says she’s going somewhere…
    and she’ll be back by morning, but
    that sweet anticipation fades away into due
    expectations when one morning fades into eight. when
    you listen into conversations of spit words and hoarse shouts, the
    faint drawl of her southern accent on the other side of the line, makes
    you want to be on the other side of the world with her, and
    your dad just keeps repeating, “this isn’t right.” and
    in hindsight, she should have told him she wasn’t coming back.

  18. MET

    The ride up the mountain when I was thirteen…

    The snow had fallen for two days….
    The park gates were locked, but
    Da had keys.
    Da, Ma and I journeyed
    Alone into the park.
    There was a wall
    Of snow on the side of the road…
    Blocking the vista views, but
    Da knew the road.
    I was at least not afraid.
    Ma’s white knuckles
    Clung to the strap above
    As if any moment
    We would tumble
    Down the mountain
    To our deaths, but
    Da knew the road.

    The balsam firs were
    Draped with snow
    That in the morning light
    Shimmered as the rhinestone
    Pins the old ladies in the church wore.
    The rock cliffs beside the road
    Had prism icicles hanging
    On edges where water had dripped.
    We stopped at Newfound Gap
    To view the winter tapestry
    Of dark green, grey bark,
    That wide white velvet
    That had fallen
    The last few days.
    Da gazed across
    Those mountains with so much
    Love filled with a tenderness
    I had seen in his summer blue eyes
    When he looked at us.
    He called me over
    To point a point of reference point.
    His hand gently on my shoulder.
    He tossed my hair, and
    My winter blue eyes…
    Eyes that could freeze you
    Sparkled with ice back at him.

    The snow crunched as we walked
    And our breath was tiny ice drops
    Falling to the ground, and
    In the silence was a peacefulness
    We never found in crowds.

    Ma said we should go home, but
    We went through another gate…
    The road to Clingmans Dome
    Was closed each winter…
    Here the snow was untouched
    Except for the feet of the creatures
    Who lived deep in the forest.
    It was slow going up that mountain,
    But worth the ride there.
    From there Da pointed out
    Where the new road would go
    On the North Carolina side.
    As he pointed…
    He told me he had walked each mile,
    And it was his choice was chosen.
    Ma was back at the car,
    And yelled, “Joe, she will get ill.”
    He told me to go back to the car, and
    As I got back there,
    I turned and saw Da,
    The man who loved roads
    Surveying the mountains
    As he had once surveyed us
    With love and tenderness.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 10, 2017

  19. Sara McNulty

    Murder

    A foul crime has taken place
    aboard the Orient Express.
    A murder, a shriek–not a trace.
    A foul crime has taken place,
    as train rolls, Poirot on the case.
    All are suspects; who will confess?
    A foul crime has taken place
    aboard the Orient Express.

  20. LCaramanna

    Going Somewhere

    Cars on the thruway
    push the limit of speed,
    evade the law,
    bend the rules,
    rage the slowpoke.
    Half go east,
    half go west,
    Most
    oblivious
    to the landscape.
    All
    carry passengers
    predestined to arrive
    sometime,
    somewhere.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  21. bartonsmock

    [soft facts]

    night is the sound of my father’s adding machine. of mother narrating the life of a stone. lake is my brother’s action figure learning to swim on a full stomach. lake is a bird going from dream to dream as a mouse. hole is anything I bring home that isn’t my body. home from the city where sisters drink in silence to footnotes of future fictions.

  22. candy

    Going Nowhere

    this poem is going nowhere
    no way
    no how

    it is a stay-at-home
    kind of poem
    a curl up in its jammies
    with a good book
    kind of poem

    its a quilt together warm
    words kind of poem
    a popcorn and hot chocolate
    kind of poem

    a hibernate until spring
    kind of poem

  23. tunesmiff

    FINAL DESTINATION
    G. Smith
    ·=>*<=·
    "Going somewhere?" she asked from the dark,
    Just as my hand landed on the deadbolt;
    I'd got this far, hadn't made the dog bark;
    "Going somewhere?" she asked from the dark,
    "Oh, maybe a quick run around the park."
    The tone in her voice gave me a jolt:
    "Going somewhere?" she asked from the dark,
    Just as my hand landed on the deadbolt.

  24. tunesmiff

    GOING SOMEWHERE

    MAKING TRACKS
    G. Smith (BMI)
    —<<>>—
    Where are we going?
    Seems we’re headed straight downhill;
    Ninety miles to nothing,
    But it seems we’re standing still.
    So far behind,
    We think we’re out in front,
    Not realizing we’re the hunted
    In this hunt.

    Where are we headed?
    Will we know it when we get there?
    Or will we be so road weary,
    Neither one will care?
    How long have we been going?
    It feels like days and nights!
    Of course, we’ve stopped a time or three,
    To take in all the sights.

    I guess it’s true what they say about the journey;
    Whether it’s to the mountaintop,
    Or down to the coast;
    The destination may be worth the effort,
    But it’s the getting there that seems to count the most, the most;
    It’s the getting there seems to count the most.

    We may not making any headway,
    But we’re doing more than merely making time;
    And as long as we wander with each other,
    You’ll add all the rhythm to my rhyme.
    We may not be making any headway,
    But you add all the rhythm to my rhyme.

  25. MET

    Reason for a journey

    One day, I will get up, and
    Decide to go see the Guidestones,
    Set in a pasture in Elberton…
    If I had a dog I would take
    It with me… cats do not
    Make good traveling companions.
    “Why?” you asked.
    Just cause it is there, and
    I haven’t see it.
    Sometimes that is
    All the reason
    You need to take a journey, and
    Have an adventure.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 10, 2017

  26. grcran

    goin’ to the max

    now we’re
    goin’ somewheres he told his son
    we’re hittin’ hard gittin’ things done
    we’re dottin’ t’s and crossin’ eyes
    takin’do-overs if we’re wise
    we’ll do the necessary drugs
    repel mosquitoes microbes bugs
    then earthquakes shook and lightning thundered
    ‘cause he told his son
    we’re gonna live to a hunderd

    gpr crane

  27. angieinspired

    “i take the detour”

    is it imaginary
    that i’m going to hell
    with my
    friend Emmanuel
    God is with us?

    i sing a saint’s
    solitary song
    for the betrayed,
    for the cut offs,
    for the ones slipping
    off into eternity
    like me

    i cry into hollow holes
    and they echo back
    you’ll never be filled

    still i take the detour
    in praise of
    my tempter’s voice
    for bringing me
    broken births

    for these two eyes
    at least twice now
    pried open

  28. De Jackson

    Poem in Yesterday’s Lipstick and Tomorrow’s Sun

    I’m not sure where this is going quite yet, but I’m pretty sure I can trust life to go there whether I agree or not.
    – Brian Andreas, going there

    This poem is a me
    -andering one. She’s shuffling
    her feet and letting the street
    know she’s got no particular
    place to be. She’s me

    -a culpa, misfit, mangy
    cur, blurred. She’s slurring
    her words and looking for her
    next (dr)ink. She thinks in
    phrase, but stays away from
    the streetlight corners.

    She’ll graffiti her way to
    some grace, trace the day
    on her own skin, be
    -gin something that just
    might be something, but
    then realize maybe
                            not.

    But she’s got
    a rum
    -bled heart
    and a most madly moon.

    And she might just be going
                    somewhere soon.

    ::

  29. Walter J Wojtanik

    ALL ROADS LEAD TO YOU

    “Every time I told you I was just passing through
    What my heart didn’t know was all roads lead to you.”
    ~ Chicago – All Roads Lead To You Lyrics

    Not a young man, yet my heart still tends to roam.
    Follow my heart. The truth is found within
    something beautiful and more precious than gold.
    I behold your beauty and it caresses my heart.
    You, an angel transfixed; a mixture of light and shadow,
    a soothing vision;
    a memory that lives within me.

    ‘When did you strike my heart?’ my mind asks!
    I delve into the depths of these thoughts, a
    fraid of where they lead and I turn away.
    But this voice from the inner sanctum of my spirit
    frees me and my mind sees.
    Your beauty lives in the sideways glances
    of tired eyes burned into their memory,
    Your light travels beyond your womanly realm.
    In dreams of wonder you rest.
    I desire your heart, a most cherished dream,
    passionate and determined.
    The dream I dream is a journey,
    I yearn to fill the space beside you as you sleep.

    I am contrite,
    a man not ashamed to soil his hands,
    never one to rest,
    doing his best to satisfy.
    Willing to die for the love he bears.
    I do not dare deny any man his share.
    Over the distant miles, you touch me.
    Your whispered prayers grace my ears.
    I carry my heart to you, the one from whom I withdrew.
    It is there where I belong.
    My steps beat a path, rising and falling; a steady pace.
    Every place I seek it, my heart confirms it is true.
    All roads lead to you!

  30. Sally Jadlow

    Going . . .

    11/10/17

    Each day, I’m one step closer
    to home.
    The one Jesus promised
    the night He was betrayed.

    Those who are going with me
    are those who trust Jesus’
    sacrifice to be for them.

    Will I see you on the other side?

  31. Earl Parsons

    Going, Going, Gone

    A life of going here and there
    We humans tend to hit the road
    Often not knowing what will be
    Discovered around the next bend
    Yet we head out nonetheless
    Going and going and going again
    At times not thinking the road might end
    With naught a single notice or warning
    For if we took the time to be cautious
    And ponder that this may be our last trip
    We might slow down and do things differently
    Before our goings are gone for good

    © 2017 Earl Parsons

  32. SarahLeaSales

    Sally F.O.I.L.

    And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man said, Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou? (Judges 19:17)

    Well-endowed by her Creator,
    with her complementary angles,
    her right side congruent with her left,
    she was quite an imaginary little number—
    well in her prime.

    Well-bred by her co-creators,
    she was never negative or irrational,
    her emotional intelligence quotient
    more than or equal to those with
    communications degrees.

    Well-informed by being self-informed,
    never giving thought to the lowest common denominator,
    her thinking was far from linear,
    for her mind ranged from negative infinity to positive infinity
    on the y-axis and x-axis.

    She was going places where few would follow,
    much less understand.

  33. Misky

    Where Do the Hours Go

    It’s just past 4pm,
    and the sun is going down,
    but for now it’s caught

    on crisses and crosses
    of aeroplane contrails.
    Those tic-tac-toe kisses,

    each trace an hour passing,
    rose-hued and translucent,
    and glued to the sky.

  34. Janet Rice Carnahan

    ONGOING EXPOSING

    Traveling down any road
    always leads us somewhere
    The question is do we know where we are going
    or better yet why
    The current trend is an important one
    What is coming up and out needs a re-balance
    It is highlighting more and more inequality
    The imbalance of what is wrong
    Must come to light
    Screaming to be made right
    Allowing us all to grow
    Currently, the old ways are effectively
    Holding us all back
    To old, stagnant, worn out pictures
    Revealing the age old structure
    The message of how things have been done
    Yet no longer applicable, acceptable or true
    The sooner we recognize it, seize it and correct it
    The quicker this balancing act can right itself
    Not just for one
    For all of us
    Isn’t that really the correct path for everyone
    The true meaning of justice?
    The realization that we are all here
    We are all human
    We are all here on purpose?
    Go beyond our physical selves and differences
    See and seize the bigger picture
    Knowing a common truth
    Embraces us all
    This acknowledgement is in our own heart
    This is somewhere
    Most worthwhile to go

  35. Melanie

    I think I saw you on the battlefield
    I really think I did
    you strolled through the smoke
    as if it were a dawn mist
    not choking
    not hot and blistering
    I watched you gently
    shake the soul from
    the broken body of a
    man just died
    you lifted him in your arms
    and took him home
    that day was hell
    and I saw a glimpse of heaven

  36. Walter J Wojtanik

    ELEGY FOR A LOST WAY

    Another day,
    another way to stray off course,
    beating a dead horse never gets you there.

    And yet you dare
    to find the road less traveled
    even if it takes you miles from where you meant to go.

    It’s a no go, scenario,
    rising from the barrio or borough,
    not as some hero, but as a man who knows how to go.

    But, you are sans maps
    and your GPS is set to “random guess”
    and you do your best to figure out your direct route.

    It seems everyone is going somewhere,
    so pack your sack, say a prayer and step out.
    You know the very worst you can lose is your way.

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