2019 April PAD Challenge: Day 6

After today’s poem, we’ll be 20% of the way through this challenge!

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “After (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “After Dinner,” “After You,” “After Hours,” and/or “After I Finish Writing This Poem.”


Poem Your Days Away!

Online poetry prompts are great! But where can you get your poem fix when you unplug? The answer is the Smash Poetry Journal, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This book collects 125 poetry prompts from the Poetic Asides blog, gives poets plenty of room to write poems, and a lot of other great poetic information. Perfectly sized to carry in a backpack or purse, you can jot down ideas for poems as you’re waiting in line for a morning coffee or take it to the park for a breezy afternoon writing session (or on a bus, at a laundromat, or about anywhere else you can imagine–except under water, unless you’re in a submarine or a giant breathable plastic bubble).

Anyway, it’s great for prompting poems, and you should order a copy today. (Maybe order an extra one as a gift for a friend.)

Click to continue.


Here’s my attempt at an After Blank Poem:

“After the Fire”

After the fire, rumors were spread
about how the house was haunted
by everyone who was found dead.
After the fire, rumors were spread
that filled home hunters with pure dread
so that it was never wanted.
After the fire, rumors were spread
so it seemed the house was haunted.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). His poem today is a triolet (find other forms here). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

295 thoughts on “2019 April PAD Challenge: Day 6

  1. AvatarLCaramanna

    After Math

    After Math,
    with its nauseating numbers
    and vicious variables arranged into equations,
    solved only by those who hold intelligence to the 10th power
    in the left side of their brain,
    After Math,
    with its irrational reasons
    polygons existed for relationships of points,
    never understood by those who covet rational numbers
    in the left side of their brain,
    After Math,
    with its negative integers
    determined to affect the outcome of calculations,
    holding no absolute value to those who treasure creativity
    in the right side of their brain,
    After Math,
    My best friend would meet me in the cafeteria for lunch.

    Lorraine Caramanna

  2. AvatarAzma

    After happily ever after

    I wake up everyday with a frown
    I know it doesn’t go well with my crown
    I thought he was a keeper
    As he returned my glass slipper
    But all he wanted was my gown

    Azma Sheikh

  3. AvatarYolee

    After Today, Son

    You’ll be near the quarter century year mark,
    and your heart will have the same watering can
    hanging at its gait like it did when you were newborn.

    When you get to be twice as you are today,
    the throb of your stride won’t match
    the one that harps your stories of supine
    and sobremesa love, shards-of-glass love,
    canonical love, bread & butter love,
    mouth-splitting love, kite flying love,
    rocking chair and aurora love tending
    a garden for you to appreciate
    love at a more giving pace.

  4. Avatarjreynoldjones

    After Eve

    I am a sub-creator,
    Generating Life.

    Pulse and thrum of blood;
    Action potentials;
    Ebb and flow of brain water;

    Body intoxicated with mind;
    I make inside myself.

    I sew:
    Pulling threads from head to bowels;

    I dye:
    Choosing color; letting seep into the fabric;

    I build:
    Making room for sturdy tables;

    I write:
    Angling pen to page;

    I sing:
    Folding the air with care
    and shaking out the dampness of its truth;

    I paint:
    Ah. There it is–color splashing
    With the fullness of the theme.

    I circle back
    Behind me

    To find a never-ending loop.

  5. AvatarQuillQueen

    After Lunch
    By Tiffany Brannan

    After dining on the terrace
    Of the lovely Vineyard Rose,
    We decide that we’ll go strolling
    For some afternoon repose.

    This delightful bridge will take us
    To the walkway by the vines.
    The now-dormant plants will later
    Grow the grapes that turn to wines.

    At the end of every vine row,
    There’s a little rosy plant.
    Though the grapevines still are barren,
    Bushes pleasant greens still grant.

    I espy a lizard scamper
    O’er the path and up a wall.
    I enjoy the vernal sunshine
    Neath my trusty parasol.

    Soon we’ve reached the hotel lobby,
    Which could make us want to stay,
    But its charming hospitality
    Must be tried another day.

    Southcoast Winery is a treasure
    On a day with rain or shine.
    After lunch, explore the scenery.
    You can love it without wine!

  6. AvatarBDP

    Imayo: “After Words”

    A fight, two sides of the bed: steaming and clammy.
    Neither spouse wants to give in: two-ton nighttime sky.
    One left the house before dawn: at last a trickle.
    The other finds contrition: a sunup rose-note.

    * * * * *

    a fight, two sides of the bed
    steaming and clammy
    neither spouse wants to give in
    two-ton nighttime sky
    one left the house before dawn
    at last a trickle
    the other finds contrition
    a sunup rose-note

    B Peters

  7. AvatarMaddiScarboro

    What governs an after?

    WHat governs an “after”?
    Surely there’s no way to predict the end.
    How could a person possibly alter the course of time?
    After school, you go home.
    After Monday, it is Tuesday.
    After a storm, the clouds are smaller.
    But what if something changed?

    I can make boiling water run cold while still on the burner.
    I can cause a pileup crash to disappear.
    After school, we go to the mall.
    After Monday, it’s now Saturday.
    After a storm, the clouds turn to cotton.
    I can cause time to turn backwards
    I can tell you how things end.
    I can make anything change.
    Because I’m simply a dream in your head.

  8. Avatarhmm.writer


    the sun reflects lazy
    on our bodies, it
    has stayed in bed all day too

    your hands are warm as they trace
    the lines of shadow on my skin
    from the window pane, the feathered branches outside

    I close my eyes against the wasted hours

    I draw your arm around my waist

  9. Avatarhmm.writer


    the sun reflects lazy
    on our bodies, it
    has stayed in bed all day too

    your hands are warm as they trace
    the lines of shadow on my skin
    from the window pane, the feathered branches outside

    I close my eyes against the wasted hours

    I draw your arm around my waist

  10. AvatarJRSimmang


    I sat staring at the bottom of my bowl,
    now empty,
    now empty,
    wondering what the content were.
    (I wonder: where is my self-control?)
    Now empty,
    now empty,
    my conscious would concur.
    My mother commented something so droll,
    now empty.
    Now empty,
    my breakfast is a blur.

    -JR Simmang

  11. AvatarHillariousJ

    After the ball
    Life went back to normal for me—
    oh, I woke with a start–it wasn’t pleasant to see
    my chafed hands and ratty nails once again,
    but I was prepared to return to servitude.
    I harbored no illusions.

    After the ball
    I heard them obsess over “her,” the dull lady
    some found mysterious, the men found captivating.
    She monopolized the prince, tripped on his toes,
    wore a dress that might have been made
    by their grandmother—
    if she were a lowly dressmaker.

    No wonder she ran
    before the ball was over, ran into the night
    without forewarning, I said. Who would want
    to hang around looking the fool, burning under
    the gaze of that nasty lot. Better to be anonymous.

    After the ball
    The prince’s men travelled the realm
    toting an absurdly solo shoe on a cushion—
    Ha! It gathered more attention than
    the string of pearls, the silk stockings, all that
    had disappeared. But I remembered those in the
    early mornings as I lay on my straw mattress.

    as they were leaving, my presence in the garden
    was noticed by one of the men—a boy—
    who said I ought to try on the shoe.
    I merely pointed to my bare feet
    by way of explanation.

    I’ve tried on my step-sister’s shoes which are
    too large to walk in. I thought a better fit was needed.
    But that night, those shoes were the reason I tripped
    and the reason I left. I threw the other shoe from the carriage
    just before it and we enchanted creatures exploded into reality.

  12. Avatarjakecosmos

    day 6 poems

    well the two coffee poems after a theme about after… after having coffee and after having the coffee blues….the other two more tangentail a relationship I suppose

    April 6th The Old Lady and the Genie

    An old Chinese woman
    Stands in a field
    On the lunatic edge of town
    Where drinkers gather to drink

    And woman of ill repute
    Play their games
    With the passing drunks
    Men ready for a night of passion

    She is holding a tea pot
    And proclaims
    That the pot contains
    A genie

    That will grant the new owner
    Three wishes
    She had to sell the pot
    Because her wishes came true

    And she smiles
    And laughs insanely
    The laughter dies
    And she implores people

    To buy her tea pot
    And put her out of misery
    Just buy my pot
    And your dreams will come true

    Be careful dear thought
    Remember all magic
    Comes with a price
    A terrible price

    April 6th Back of the Bus

    Many years ago
    When I was a foolish young man
    I took a greyhound bus trip
    Just to see the country

    I was trapped
    In the back of the bus
    Where the young
    And restless souls

    Gathered together
    And drank illegally
    And smoked weed
    Also illegally

    We stayed there
    Until Winnemuca
    Where I got off

    And found my bus pass
    Had found another owner
    And I went to Salt Lake City
    Still trapped in the back of the bus

    April 6th The Messenger Dog of God
    One day
    While studying in Rome
    As a priest
    I notice a small white dog
    Staring at me

    He glances at me
    Indicating that I am to follow him
    I get up
    And follow this strange dog

    He leads me deep
    Inside the hidden depths
    Of the Vatican
    Finally stopping by a door

    I open the door
    And see St Peter there
    He smiles
    Dismisses the dog

    Who moves on down the hall
    Finished with his cosmic duty
    As the secret messenger of God
    All in a days work

    I ask why am I here?
    St Peter says
    Why are any of us here?
    It is time for you to go

    But I don’t want to go
    Don’t want to leave this mortal plane
    St Peter smiles
    Says it is time to go

    I wake up
    Back in my bed
    With my wife
    And realize it was all a dream

    It was not yet time
    To go
    But I am afraid
    I will find the messenger dog

    Outside my door
    Any day now
    The grim reaper waits
    And it will soon be my time

    April 6 Coffee Love Hate Affair

    I love coffee
    Always have
    Always will

    But I have a love hate affair
    With coffee
    Love it when it gets me up
    Flying high in the sky

    As the sun comes over
    Filling with hope
    And anticipation

    As I conquer the day’s
    Dauting tasks
    With a little help
    From my drug of choice

    But coffee turns on me
    Late in the day
    And I can’t not sleep

    As the coffee burns
    In my soul
    And I toss and turn
    And sleep no more

    Coffee does that to me
    And so, I am reduced
    To drinking decafe coffee

    Not the same thing at all
    But that is all I can handle
    As I am a coffee addict
    And always will be

    April 6 Coffee Blues

    Coffee is my drug of choice
    Always has been
    Ever since I first tried
    As a young lad

    Loved coffee’s power
    To speed up my synaptic nerves
    Turning me on
    Keeping me going and going and going

    But there is a dark side to everything
    And coffee is a drug
    And it will take you
    Where it wants to go

    Enslaving you
    Making you its victim
    As it toys with you
    Messes with you

    Prevents you from sleeping
    Coffee is a harsh mistress
    It demands respect
    As you fall under it seductive powers

    Slave again
    To the drug of choice
    Just another over caffeinate
    Coffee addict

    Stumbling along the street
    Looking for a fix
    At six in the morning
    As the coffee wears off

    And you finally
    Can get some sleep
    Until the alarm
    Blasts you away

    And you reach out
    Trembling for you fix
    Coffee you scream out
    I need coffee
    The universe laughs
    As you get your coffee high
    Just another pathetic coffee junkie
    When all is said and done

  13. Avatarseingraham


    After the end of the world
    After the end of the sky
    After the end of the seas crashing home
    After the end of the wars
    After the need for the soldiers
    After the deserts have rain again
    After the cities no longer exist
    After the moon falls out of its place
    After the sun burns itself out
    After the darkness spreads totally
    What will come after the after goes?

  14. AvatarPSC in CT

    After Words

    Some forgive
    and disavow the pain,
    ignore the slights and slurs,
    deny the stain, cajoled
    to trusting leaves can ever turn,
    while others live and yearn.

    There’s no annulling words
    once they’ve been cast.
    You must merely refrain or
    contend with the pain
    of untying knots
    meant to last.

    There’s no point
    in ruing the blunder;
    any judge in the county
    can legally
    put those bonds

    Still, it seems
    a terrible waste
    when all that remains
    is the aftertaste, and
    an afterimage that still
    can make you yearn

    yet the more you live
    the more you know
    and enduring is
    the only way to learn
    how afterglow
    can preface afterburn.

  15. AvatarJoMae


    After the winter was over
    and days became longer
    the sun became warmer
    the dark cocoon of waiting
    for more light began to soften
    then break open to the magic
    of springtime with its signs of
    new life and spirit of hope

    as we shed our heavy coats
    our hearts became lighter
    our worlds a bit brighter
    our steps a tad faster

    ~ SPRING ~


  16. Avatarskiiru


    It’s been ten years since everything between us exploded
    and by all accounts
    we should be healed.
    Not that anyone will say it, mind you.
    But I see the calculation in their face so I don’t bother explaining the ways
    we still come up short.
    Truth is, I once assumed the same equation.
    But that was before we started walking this pocked road, before I accounted for
    all the freight we were forced to carry.

    Now I know, for example, about loyalty—
    how it can be a debit and a credit. That there is a hidden cost to
    both the staying and the leaving.
    And yes, I’d always heard that the shortest distance between two points is
    a diagonal line,
    but nobody ever told me how to measure the distance between forgiveness and trust
    or how to figure out if contentment is greater than or equal to love.
    And all the instruction on common denominators
    doesn’t answer the question “NOW is what fraction of BEFORE?”

    I haven’t even mentioned all the complicated geometries,
    the attempted measuring of every angle and the discerning of the shape of things.

    Of course
    congruence is just an equation
    and any equation worth its salt deals with R, i.e., real numbers, i.e., the actual facts, like
    (specific) + (specific) + (specific) ≠ happily ever after.
    But then again what textbook is going to tell you that God = restoration
    so there you have it.

    All I really know is that numbers can only explain so much, not the tender gravel of his
    voice in the morning or his sincere attention to my cascades of words
    and certainly not the steady accumulation of days, i.e., fidelity, i.e., not-infidelity.

    So this number—ten (as in years)—
    yes: it’s both rational and irrational. I have chosen—still choose—
    him. Us. We.
    We will relentlessly solve for x.

    And I know what they’re all thinking: parallel lines never intersect.
    But Euclid can’t tell us what to do—we’re not some 2D plane, we’re geodesic, thank you very much—
    and we will draw together eventually, even if it’s near infinity,
    even if we never really intersect,
    we just seem that way.

  17. AvatarJezzie

    After Brexit will we ever agree?
    After Brexit which party will there be?
    After Brexit I think I’ll emigrate
    because after Brexit we’ll be in a hell of a state.

  18. AvatarLinda Rhinehart Neas

    A day late and a poem short…catching up after being away and off-line.

    After the Dust Settles

    Trips leave us in a whirlwind of dust
    made from memories, thought, moments in the sun.
    Once home, after the dust settles,
    we rummage through the details
    like spring cleaning gone awry!
    Eventually, we are left with precious pickings,
    which bring us the joy of remembrance
    whenever they are seen or held.

  19. AvatarAsha1000

    Sorry if this posts twice. Posted last night but don’t see it. So here goes:

    After This New Moon

    Fishing time:
    wish I’d catch a plump grouper
    to boil with pepper and lime.

    Waxing moon
    sets early, fine for viewing
    first Lyrids across the dune.

    Flowers bloom,
    bees drink their fill of nectar
    and I don my peacock plume.

    Birds’ eggs hatch;
    the world readies for Earth Day;
    I feed my little green patch.

    Greetings, Spring –
    Season of rebirth and glee –
    time to get out on the swing!

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  20. AvatarDarlene Franklin

    After God Saw Me

    After God saw me
    I became visible
    No longer a blank
    Unheard and unnoticed
    The quietest in my class
    Delicate pinks and purples
    Washed away neutral grays
    Splashed with red and yellow
    Seen so that I can see
    Share others’ joys and pain
    After God saw me
    I became visible

  21. Avatarlionmother

    After the Shock Had Worn Off

    It was a year before the shock wore off
    I went around in a cloud of despair
    not wanting to do ordinary things alone
    not trusting myself to spend any time
    with complete strangers without the
    protection of my family next to me

    After the shock wore off
    I ventured into the world
    as if I were a baby bird
    learning to fly and try my wings
    Gradually I eased into the
    everyday and mundane things
    I had ignored for so long
    and took my first steps
    into stores alone

    I missed the comforting presence
    of a familiar face but I forced myself
    to navigate supermarket aisles alone
    browsing over labels and pretending
    I was all right and that outside of here
    would be the man who had always waited
    so patiently and yet with a touch of ire
    at the length of the wait

    His eyes would be happy to see me
    and then he would ask how I could
    have spent so much time buying
    things even though I had filled up
    the trunk with the bags

    But now when I left the store
    the sun shining in my eyes
    I walked the lonely path
    to my car and found instead
    an empty seat and no hazel eyes
    staring at me

    After the shock wore off
    I realized this life we had was
    now in an archive and I would
    have to sort through my memories
    to recapture it
    though who could believe I missed
    that angry sigh and his resignation
    at last that I would not change

    No one was going to berate me
    for taking too much time
    and time was now a non-issue
    for I could meander down the aisles
    as long as I wanted

    until I came to a food he loved
    and then my progress stopped
    as I realized I could not buy it
    for there was no one there
    to eat it anymore.
    Copyright 2019 by Barbara Ehrentreu

    1. Avatarseingraham

      Oh, Barbara – I don’t know if this is autobiographical or not, but it hits pretty close to home – even though I’m not at this point yet – I can imagine the quandry, and the regret. Fine poem.

  22. AvatarLinda Voit

    After Eight, 1983

    Spring of my sophomore year
    a professor invited me to his home
    to talk about England before my
    semester abroad. More than
    35 years later, I don’t remember details
    of our conversation. I am sorry to say
    I don’t even remember the professor’s
    name, but I wish I did. I’d thank him
    for the visit that made my upcoming
    studies come to life like nothing else.
    The invitation itself, his talk of trips
    to England’s Lake District, the tea,
    and the pictures, all helpful, are fuzzy
    memories now, but I do remember the
    After Eight mint chocolate thins
    he served, my first, so exotic, each
    chocolate-robed mint square in its own
    shiny brown paper sleeve, one end open
    so you could ease it out. I did not think
    I could be more excited to go to England
    until that visit, when I realized I’d be attending
    college in the country that created
    After Eight mint chocolate thins!

  23. AvatarTaruchaya

    Poem #2
    After the Summer Rain

    The musk of the earth
    The wet bed of grass
    The pearls on roses
    The rainbow canvas.

    The dance of peacock
    The song of the brook
    After the Summer rain
    Its impossible to overlook.

    The boats on puddles
    The cup of cocoa stirred hot
    The bite of crunchy cookies
    Entices me a lot.

    Embracing mist on the window
    Rays filtering through a cloud
    After the Summer rain
    My heart loves to sing aloud.

  24. Avatarsongful1

    April 6, 2019 ~ day 6

    By Stacy Rush
    After the announcement

    I had actually won 1 Million
    I was dumbfounded, totally speechless
    Who should I call to tell first
    Would anyone even really care
    I have never won anything before
    How long will it be
    Before I get my first installment
    But when I get it
    What will I do with
    The 1 Million lifetime supply of paperclips
    I won for correctly guessing
    How many pencils were in a 18 gallon plastic bin
    Next time I think I will play the Lottery instead

  25. AvatarJane Shlensky

    After the Guns

    After his first hunting trip,
    he was never the same,
    shaky, nervous, skiddish.
    He ran with the other dogs,
    tracked and wagged,
    but the bark of those guns
    blasted the trust right out
    of him, and made him useless.
    Well, that, and old Franklin
    cursing him like that, calling
    him a coward and poor excuse
    for a hunting hound.

    Old Frank never saw war,
    never learned to fear the thunder
    and rivet of weapons, explosions
    large and small, and what
    any one of those could do
    to a human body. He did see
    Ted Joyner’s boy come home
    from Afghanistan, the dark
    hollowness of his eyes, the empty
    sleeve, the dread in him
    more visible than the missing legs.
    The boy is broken, never
    the laughing playful child he was.

    Maybe that’s why he took to
    that hound right off, kindred
    spirits. The Joyner boy
    whistled softly and held
    his good hand down for
    the hound to sniff, then
    smoothed its fur and softly
    squeezed its ears. They just
    sat that way for a while
    looking into one another’s
    face, coming to some understanding.
    Both of them, man and dog,
    know how it is after the guns,
    how hard it is to get the percussion
    out of your head. Those two
    are inseparable, dog and man,
    both trembling believers
    in peace and quiet, after
    the guns have done their work.

  26. AvatarMichelle Hed

    After the Day

    When the night has settled in
    like a long, lost friend
    and the day is resting
    it’s weary head…
    we can walk in the sunlight
    beneath a thousand, dancing stars
    holding hands
    as the gentle waves never
    go above our ankles
    and the sea reflects an evening sky
    filled with moons…
    When the night has settled in
    like a long, lost friend
    and the day is resting
    it’s weary head…
    we can dream.

  27. Avatarrobinamelia

    After the Bake Sale

    After the bake sale crumbs settle like snow
    while mendicants gather round ladles
    splashing misfortune on knobby knees,
    bibs becoming mainsails
    which are of course useless on submarines
    but we float bravely and carry on
    outside the perimeter of wiling jailers
    whose keys turn into lollipops, or do they.
    Fund raisers make us feel furtive
    and hopeful but no one can buy a shiny
    new battleship with the rewards,
    though bathtub gin will fuel a revolution or two.

  28. AvatarPat Walsh

    After Him
    by Patrick J. Walsh

    running after Him
    through the streets of the village
    too small to see
    through the crowd of grownups
    too little to understand
    what was going on

    remembering that time
    when He had stopped and smiled
    leaving the group of grownups
    to sit with all the kids
    to ask about the fishing
    and making everybody laugh

  29. Avatarrebwood

    “After brackets bust”  (Fibonacci Poem)

    takes over
    we all want to win
    and bet that our brackets are best.
    But underdogs win
    when first seeds
    go bust

  30. AvatarMMC

    After Perfection

    Imperfection infests me.
    After contentment
    comes the discontent
    of ifs, what-ifs, and buts
    After excitement
    comes the inevitable
    After gratitude
    grouchiness sets in.

    The human condition,
    it seems,
    is always, always

  31. AvatarAsha1000

    After this New Moon

    Fishing time.
    Wish I’d catch a plump grouper
    to boil with pepper and lime.

    Waxing moon
    sets early, fine for viewing
    first Lyrids across the dune.

    Flowers bloom.
    Bees drink their fill of nectar
    and I don my peacock plume.

    Birds’ eggs hatch;
    the world readies for Earth Day;
    I feed my little green patch.

    Greetings, Spring,
    season of rebirth and glee,
    time to get out on the swing!

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  32. AvatarSara McNulty

    After The Flight

    Her heart slowed down to normal beat
    when wheels touched down. She rose from seat
    with stiffened legs and antsy feet.
    Her flight complete, her flight complete.

    Stood at carousal, watched for bag
    praying there would not be a snag.
    With lost luggage spirits would sag.
    Her day would drag, her day would drag.

    Then she spied it, a purple band
    wrapped ’round suitcase of black and tan.
    Impatient, she reached out a hand
    Start new life’s plan, start new life’s plan.

  33. Avatartunesmiff

    G. Smith
    After the sun goes down,
    Before the stars arise,
    The blue hour comes around.
    After the sun goes down,
    The day puts on its evening gown,
    And quiet fills the empty skies,
    After the sun goes down,
    Before the stars arise.

  34. AvatarAnvanya


    Well, I did it again, typing afretmath
    Rather than aftermath. The more I type,
    The more my fingers grow dyslexic…
    However perhaps its my newly minted
    Visionary lenses that also cause me to
    Park eighteen inches from the left line
    In the lot – which means: put ’er in reverse
    And pull more leftly-like to get Snowflake
    In the center of the space.

    Cataracts of the Nile’ve got nothing on me:
    Two pair of glasses, one for the keyboard
    And CPU and one to read/versus distance
    For the street and freeway signs. Am I
    Interested in blended lenses? Nope. Bi-
    Focals ’ll do me just fine

    ’ceptin’ there’s one sticky prob brighter
    Eyes never can fix: dyscalculia – fancy word,
    Eh? Want me to call you on the phone? I can
    Give it a try – sure – odds are it will take me
    Several tries. More often than not my fingertips
    Hastily reverse at least two of the numbers,
    So good luck to both of us!

    About this one, no practice, no quick surgical
    Fix, no spell-check easy do-over. Just time
    And patience and thought and talking my way
    Through the task keep me on board. BTW,
    Know a good accountant?


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