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They stared at you
they did
At your difference

At your height
At your eyes
At the curve of your spine

They did not see
what I did

You asked to
clear my plate
A raised eyebrow
and eye connection
No words

I smiled with you
eyes to eyes
Said yes

You asked me
how my meal was
A circle of your
thumb and forefinger

I smiled with you
eyes to eyes
And said yes
thank you

You walked away
In your shuffle
I saw a
spring in your step

Behind you
you left a
spring in my heart
This was written in the Funan Food Court in Singapore in 2009. I found it today when I was going through some old notebooks. I remember this encounter as if it were yesterday...

© Jacqueline Le Sueur 2009
Mar 2020 · 152
A beautiful new world
The sky is blue
the sun is shining
all around the little birds sing

In the distance the sounds
of a lawn mower
the laughter of a child

Pink flowers on the camellia bush
green moss in the grass
leaf buds on the oak tree

Sparrows on the feeder
a blackbird taking a bath
a robin looking at me from the fence

in this time of global pandemic
this is my normality
a surreal reality

Working from home
a novelty for many today
my life for much of twenty years

social isolation daily life
for all now
my life for the past 15 years

I give deep gratitude
for this experience
from every atom of my soul

Our past always
leads us to
our present

This is not the time
for pointing fingers
for one up manship

Nor is it a time
for ego
or greed

It is the opportunity
for I to become

For Illness
to become

It is the time
for  community
during  isolation

It is the time
to believe
in possibility

In the possibility
that from global pandemic
we can create

a beautiful new world
Feb 2019 · 188
i love you
in the chaos of your mind
do you

i don’t know
you say

in the chaos of your mind
changes do you
want to make

i don’t know
you say

in the chaos of your mind
do you
want to be

i don’t know
you say

in the chaos of your mind
what steps
can you

to make a difference
to make your life easier

less fraught
less anxious

filled with more joy
filled with less anger

i don’t know
you say

an endless loop
you more

that exasperates me

there is a solution
a potential solution
at once so hard
at once so easy


your unique differabilty
your exceptional persona
your unique perspective on the world

non-conditional love

above all
you are worthy

because you are
Oct 2016 · 493
like heavy snowfall
loneliness is crushing me;
cold, harsh, destructive.
Oct 2016 · 1.2k
Berlin ...
a city with a past
that echoes unrelentingly
through its present

a city of whispering shadows
& tortured souls
of sharp edges
& crystallised tears

© Jacqueline Le Sueur 2016 All Rights Reserved
Written on a cold, snowy morning in  February 2010 having just experienced the Monument to the Murdered European Jews...2711 concrete stelae representing the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust
Feb 2016 · 16.3k
Cold, blue, wet, fragile, brittle, hard, steam solidified, water hardened, anger, fear, white, tensile,

steam solidified,
water hardened; you lie
in her wintered veins.


"If she's awake, I'll **** you."
staccato words spoken
like a knife blade thrown...
...with malice and intent.

Her father's voice
from the bedroom next door
no sound of her mother.

The female child cowered
under her candy-striped sheets
their usual soft comfort

door handle moving
light seeping into her sanctuary

her heart thudded
trying to escape her chest
as she held her breath.

"Please, please don't hear me."
a silent plea as
fear snatched her in its icy grip.

She could smell him
smell the cigarettes
smell his power.

She waited.

He backed out
returned to her mother
between her heartbeats
she heard the slap

"You are lucky this time,
*****. She sleeps."
Heavy footsteps down the stairs
punctuated by her mother's tears.


The girl child had only ever blamed her mother
decades of anger and bitterness
the memory of this night buried deep.
Crazed hard ice beneath the tundra of her life.

In the third decade of the girl child's life
her mother died
never forgiven for what she hadn't done
nor for what she had.

The ice remained in the girl child's veins
If anything, thicker...harder.

Then in her fifth decade this ice became water
as with the passage of life the tundra thawed
and rising with it to the surface
the truth.

Then what?

The girl child worked hard at staying warm
at keeping the ice at bay.
Not easy.

Nothing was ever said to her father.

In her sixth decade the girl child's father died
embraced in his daughter's arms
forgiven for what he had done
and for what he hadn't.

The woman had finally thawed
she was properly warm
her own love
finally able to flow
Aug 2014 · 727
you're there
an arrow shaft of pain
from nowhere
straight through my heart

where are you
why did you leave
I miss you
more, so much more

you're not there
at the end of the phone
your voice
my port in a storm

I miss you
more, so much more
tears from nowhere
rivers of pain

you're there
where the birds always sing
and the flowers always bloom

I love you Pa
© Jacqueline Le Sueur 2014 All Rights Reserved
Aug 2014 · 868
an easy word to say
to spell
and to live by
so you would think

should be easy
and yet
it is hard
so hard

you are seen as a threat
if you stand up
and speak
an alternate opinion

tall poppy in the cornfield
head above the parapet
in the line of fire
why should it be so

loss of face
stand in the way

the world would be
such an easier place
if alternate views were respected
and differences honoured
© Jacqueline Le Sueur 2014 All Rights Reserved
Aug 2014 · 1.1k
I really really
must not scratch
this itchy itchy itch
but what to do
when all your hands
just want to do is scratch

Diagnosed this morning
by Doctor Wicky Wong
I don't like the look of those
he said
Neither do I
I wished him wrong

Back I went this evening
as more spots they had appeared
He looked a little closer
muttered words I could barely hear
off work 3 days not 1 he said
Contagious these may spread

So here I am at home alone
with nowt to do but write
a load of twaddle on the page
as shingles rages rife
when what I'd really love to do
is sleep say nighty night
© Jacqueline Le Sueur 2014 All Rights Reserved
Aug 2014 · 845
how is it possible
to be so very lonely
on this equatorial isle
to be alone
© Jacqueline Le Sueur 2014 All Rights Reserved
Jul 2013 · 1.4k
No longer alone
It is strange
yet not
being back here on
the isle of my forefathers
Of I

Everything is different
nothing has changed

Seagulls call and
the air smells of seaweed
There are pink flowers in baskets
and the sky is blue
That endless blue of timeless childhood summers

Here my name is not an aberration
'ueu' is an everyday tripthong
'Le' a rule not an exception
I am not an exception either

After half a century
I am one of a tribe after all

people I have never known
not even in name lest alone body
Reaching way back in time
Predominantly French
or of this isle

The Germans
photographed every islander
when they occupied this dot of granite
as bombs fell on Europe in a rain of death

The Occupation was a dark period of
hunger and cruelty
but thanks to these photos
I have seen my heritage
etched on faces so familiar
yet never met

I learned just now
my paternal grandfather had gunshot wounds
along his right side and arm and leg
Mementos of the Somme
of Passchedale
and Ypres

I discovered he died of
carcinoma of the lungs
like my mother
my uncle
several aunts
and my Pa

He survived four years of the Great War
water logged trenches
blood-rusty bayonets
horror and starvation
Just one of a few to come home
Military Medal pinned to his chest
5 feet tall yet battle hardy
witnessing things
doing things
no man nor woman should ever do

But Grandpa (how joyous to hear that word on my lips!)
couldn't defeat
the silent enemy
that waged its war within

All this new knowledge
somehow makes me feel older
Not in years
but in history

Tattoos of my heritage
now pattern my bones

My parents are both dead
I have no siblings
no partner
no children
but now I am
no longer alone
© Jacqueline Le Sueur 2013. All Rights Reserved
Feb 2013 · 850
Au Revoir
Tears of salt, ties of
blood tight; father and daughter
no distance can part.
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2012. All Rights Reserved

(Written last year in the hour after my Pa left this earth. Found this afternoon.)
Jan 2013 · 833
ice ... ice ... ice ... ice
Nothing. De nada.
Zilch. Zero.
My creativity's out to lunch,
just as it has been for 18 months.

I don't know what to do.

I'm scared, you know.
Words are my rock,
my port in a stormy sea.
I am stuck in the ice
and it ain't very nice.

I don't know what to do.

I've looked in here
and I've looked over there.
It's like I've died a death.
My heart is beating
and I'm still eating.

I don't know what to do.

Perhaps I should turn
my face to the sun
and bathe in its warming light.
Maybe that will reignite the flame,
melt the ice and I will write once again. I know what to do.
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2012. All Rights Reserved.
Dec 2012 · 2.2k
The light is the truth
Religion says

I'm not sure that's the case

For it's in the dark
I really see


no beginning
no end
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2012. All Rights Reserved
Dec 2012 · 1.3k
forty-four days
"I do love you, you know, love
It's just too late
to do anything about it now."

Heartfelt words spoken
at the end of a day
that'd seen six heart attacks
come and go

Across the hours
your silence spoke volumes
marching time as it did through your pain

Eyes closed to the world
until those last words
spoken with such passion
as I steeled myself to leave

You grasped my hand
held it tight to your chest
your gaze like a cloak encircling me

Gravity carried my tears
anguish spotting the floor
yours a lifetime of sorrows
staining the pillow

How I walked away
I will never know
my heart breaking with each step

Death was expected
the very next day
already it was knocking
but you didn't open the door

Not for another
forty-four days
finally leaving wrapped in my embrace

Ready you were
after our time together
your room in the hospice
our port in the storm

We laughed and we cried
we talked and forgave
we journeyed far and deep

You had said it was too late
to show me your love
but truly it wasn't
you know, Pa

You did an excellent job
at the end of the day
and in your own way
my  life through

I may have nothing material
to remind me of you
but my memories will never fade
© Jacqueline Le Sueur 2012. All Rights Reserved
Jul 2012 · 1.4k
tiger caged
down, up

the house
a tiger caged

I am free

in the turmoil of my mind

no idea
which way to

no idea
what to


will he even
who I am?

does it matter?
it does
to me

we don't treat
like this

prison we'd
be in
if we did

but when
it comes
to those we love

we have to
stand by

hour on hour
moment by moment

my father
of dignity

atom by atom
trying so hard to stay

why Pa?

bed wetting
loss of lucidity

do I go?
do I stay?
do I go?

tiger caged
into the darkness
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2012 All Rights Reserved
Jun 2012 · 1.0k
concrete canyons
with ribbons of sky

of humanity
flowing between

kilometres apart

lives touching
but not

an unsustainable journey
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2012 All Rights Reserved
Jun 2012 · 702
in the space of my life
I look without, within

I’ve bungy jumped
without a cord
do I plummet?
no, I soar

the fear I feel
in the depths of the night
doesn’t tie

the joy I feel
at being me
lights up my soul
puts the sun in my eyes

the hunger I felt
for so long has gone
and its nothing
to do with dinner

it’s everything to do
with following my heart
and my dreams
through which I'm now free to wander
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2012 All Rights Reserved
Jun 2012 · 1.1k
Discordant Symphony
symphony of sound
a discordant composition
orchestra on cosmic stage
witching hour to dawn

woken by screeching wind
twisting that way and this
manic banshees

in through the window
chilling my body with cold damp fingers
shutting them out
they howl even louder

joined later by rain
incessant drumbeats
endless cadence
on hard earth

synthesized energy
streaking uncontrollably
around nature's concert hall

listening in silence
watching in awe
standing ovation
applauding unseen hands
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2012 All Rights Reserved

Written in Singapore during an equatorial storm of magnificent proportions
Jun 2012 · 719
that chambered space
tossing and turning
in that chambered space
wakefulness and sleep

moving like molasses
in my veins

no way out
©Jacqueline Le Sueur. All Rights Reserved
Jun 2012 · 735
carpe diem
fingers of light
one by one reaching out
gently caressing the sky
with dawn

note by note soaring up
softly filling the air
with song

this Sunday morning
last Sunday morning

the death of night
bringing the birth of day
in the cycle of life
where time waits for no one
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2012 All Rights Reserved
Jan 2012 · 1.2k
Wrapped up in red
and tied with silver
a small painting
you made in school

Given with a smile
and a whole lot of love
Van Gogh's Sunflowers
don't hold a torch to this

I may not be a mother
nor a sister
nor an aunt
I may not have family to visit

But ...

7 years old
you prove so well
that family do not have
to share blood
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2012 All Rights Reserved
Jan 2012 · 1.1k
I need to write you a letter
its content will hurt you
I'm sure
But there are words that need to be voiced
Pain that has rattled around in my soul
for five decades left unsaid

Your end is near
four months they said
that was almost three hundred days back
You are holding on
by the strength of your will
and here I come to rock your boat

Or will I

Am I so sure what I need to air
will bring a storm to your port
Perhaps this is just me clinging to hope
like a castaway hangs on to a plank
I have always wanted with all of my heart
to know you loved me, your daughter

Maybe I need to accept once and for all that you don't
because you don't know how to

or maybe you don't want to

Should I write my letter I ask myself
as I let my thoughts flow onto this page
What is there to gain if you will not talk
you have always refused to engage in the past
You know you have little time left
but why should this be a reason to change

Perhaps the time has come for me to say
'I release you, Pa'

and walk away …
c Jacqueline Le Sueur 2012 All Rights Reserved
Jan 2012 · 933
GPS wanted

in the labyrinth
of memory


on doors that
cannot be opened


for fragments
forever out of reach


what can never
be recalled


you know
and yet you don't

so lost
c Jacqueline Le Sueur 2012 All Rights Reserved
Dec 2011 · 1.1k
in the moonlight of your life
your skin drapes loose over your bones
documenting your existence
and wrapping up memories
that you have determined will remain untold
leaving me wondering what you might have said
and now never will
c Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved
Dec 2011 · 616
through the shadows
of my childhood

so hard
to create light from the darkness

pain like Braille
all alone

for laughter
hearing only tears

were you
when I reached out

the other way
pretending all was well

the bruises
deaf to my cries

is what I have been doing
three decades away from the land of my birth

that distance
would erase the past

it didn't happen
but it did

at last
to look into the abyss

for the first time in fifty years
the sum total of who I am

thanks for the past
for all that it is

into the mirror
and finally seeing who is there
c Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved
Dec 2011 · 1.9k
enemy of sanity,
champion of creation.

Broken heart,
mended over time.
Laughter and tears
different sides of the same coin.

Lack of honesty
fear of transparency.
Living a lie,
fearing the truth.

Words run through my mind
like an uncontrollable train.
To say, or not?
To say or not?
Wheels going endlessly round.

Convert the energy
Into something more productive.
Would be sensible, no?

To the hell with sensibility.

Confusion reigns.
(Written in Bangkok 6 years valid now as it was then albeit for a completely different reason.)

©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved
Dec 2011 · 1.0k
four sleeps
four sleeps
four more sleeps
and then that day arrives
the day
if you are not careful
that reminds you
of all you are not

you are not a mother
nor a sister
nor an aunt
you do not have family
you can go and visit

when you wake
on that day
there is no laughter echoing
nor  paper ripping
as presents are opened
before the kettle has boiled

your house
echoes with emptiness
you will eat your turkey and trimmings alone
no debate about who sits where at the table
nor fights for supremacy of the remote control


do not be sad for me

reframe your matrix
the way I do

my heart beats with the gift of life
my memory is filled
with the richness of days gone by
and each moment I breathe
the only moment any of us has
is filled with belief and shaped by joy

I am not a mother
nor a sister
nor an aunt
I do not have family
I can go and visit
I will eat alone on Christmas Day

but what I am is me

and for that I am blessed
as you are for being you
© Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved
Nov 2011 · 1.1k
Maldivian Night
the setting sun
blood red orb falling into mercury sea
soft breeze tracing your skin like a lover’s caress
so pure

inky blackness falls
an endless arch peppered with stars
planets blink
flying fish dance
phosphorescence sparkles green
luminous in the wake of your footfall

and so you sit
the very essence of earth, sea and sky

the moon rises full
swollen with fecundity
silence embraces you
life’s negativity is cleansed from your soul

and so you sit
wishing on a star

the sun rises
pink, peach, soft
enveloping your being
giving birth to a brand new day

to a brand new you
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2005 All Rights Reserved

(The first poem I ever wrote about a truly magical experience I had when I lived in the Maldives. )
Nov 2011 · 3.6k
gore & gloriousness
50 quid a night
Bleak walls
***** curtains
'Thieves abound' signs.
What do you expect?

deep and dark
Boeings vying
with Airbus
for air space

Around me
held hostage by
a mix of humanity
that defies belief

Tats & shaven eyebrows
Over there a Rolex
Business people
thin on the ground

construction gangs
football teams
flight crew...
No pilots, mind

And then there are
the lonesomes
like me
and people shouting
into their digital fruits

Only 50 quid a night
What do you expect?
What you've got...
A melting *** of humanity
In all its gore & gloriousness
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011. All Rights Reserved
Sep 2011 · 777
Laptop lens views world;
death by nature, death by man.
Hearts weep as souls fly.
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved

(written in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake in February this year)
Sep 2011 · 1.0k
knock knock
vitality wanes,
lost forever over the
edge of death's doorstep
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved
Jul 2011 · 1.4k
Good Luck
Blue floor, blue chair
flowered curtains and
a view of fields
beyond the window.

Bed, unmade.
What history does
that hold, I wonder?
Radio plays, chatter, soft footsteps.

The Big Man arrives.
Kind, gentle, dark eyes.
Soft voice, good hands.
Pulls no punches.

This is what will happen.
He says, do I understand?
The words, of course I do.
The impact? Let's see.

The gas man arrives.
Banters jovially.
Nice of him to try but
I'm beyond all that.

He knows how to put us out
but his experience
of the experience?
Minimal. I asked.

Always throws them, that.
When you ask them if
they know what it is like.
So easy to be glib without pain.

This risk and that.
Do you understand,
they ask once again.
Sign here. "Good luck."

Never had a surgeon
Say, "good luck" before.
Sun's gone in,
It's raining now.
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011. All Rights Reserved
Jun 2011 · 795
paint-by-numbers (edit)
when I was young
the sun always shone
in the summer

the sky was a paint-by-numbers colour
blue thick and solid
always there

the grass was the green
of a dragon’s back
long and populated with insects

birds sung
from morning to night
the air was fragranced with roses

days lasted for ever
sleeping with sand between my toes
dried salt on my skin

we collected winkles for supper
running back up the hill
shells clanking in the bucket

shelling peas on the back step
popping them open
with our thumbs

I know in my heart
it rained sometimes
but it never mattered then
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011. All Rights Reserved
Jun 2011 · 518
A shadowed moment
whispering with silvered song.
I wait. Will you come?
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved
Jun 2011 · 1.0k
still waters
sitting eating
rivers of Singapore life
flow around me, over me

forever drowning in noise

clatter of plates
rumbling traffic
the discordant wailing of ringtones


cultures, colours, faiths
streaming together
oil on water

often you stare
‘ang moh,’  you mutter
'red haired devil'

you don’t like
to share my table
or sit by me on the bus

and yet

like water on the mountaintop
ever seeking the sea
with gentle persistence we live together

still waters of humanity run deep
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved
Jun 2011 · 2.6k
Ice Cream
I saw an old man in Exeter today;
saw him twice, in fact.
Each time he was eating ice cream
beneath his black felt hat.

His face was wizened, a cliche I know,
but I don’t know how else to say it.
He looked tired and worn behind his smile,
his shoulders sagged, his eyelids low.

At his feet a collection of bags,
small and medium, all black.
His wordly possessions I couldn’t but wonder,
carried around on his back.

What stories do you hold, old man,
wrapped in the parchment of your skin?
Will they be forever mysteries untold,
or do you have someone to invest them in?
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved
the bottom has fallen
out of my world
but I cannot leave it
like that

what good would that do?

I have to rebuild
its substance
sticks & stones no use

only love & fortitude need apply

but where to find them
when anger pervades?
anger that’s fruitless
I know, I know

but heart is ruling cerebrum

heart is ruling cerebrum
heart is ruling cerebrum
but why not?
I’m only human

aren’t I?

so is he
and herein lies the challenge
humanity, its endless cycles
of life and death

and life again

I believe in that
in life again
I do
in many forms

it’s the transition that hurts

know that I love you
I always have
always will

You are a part of me of you

I am by your side
to hold your hand
a shoulder to cry on
if you need to

here for you

as you always have been for me

I love you, Pa
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2010 All Rights Reserved
Apr 2011 · 988
marching song
In a place
that I am beyond

Looking down on a life that was
that is no more

Running in my mind
Fingers drumming in my consciousness
a marching song

Building up the courage
to do what must be done
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2010 All Rights Reserved
Mar 2011 · 2.0k
Cranes Fly
Cranes fly as earth cries.
Land of rising sun gathers,
glues fragments shattered.
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All rights Reserved
Mar 2011 · 538
Birth in death: Cycles.
New born lambs frolic in mist.
Flowers smile, birds sing.
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011. All Rights Reserved
Feb 2011 · 666
Laptop lens views world;
death by nature, death by man.
Hearts weep as souls fly.
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011. All Rights Reserved

(Written on the morning of a devasting earthquake in NZ and raging insurrection  in North Africa and the Middle East)
Feb 2011 · 1.4k
Out Walking
Seductive songsters
woo  with sweet dawn melodies;
grey heron takes flight.
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011. All Rights Reserved
Feb 2011 · 569
Poison delivered
in the chalice of your smile.
Thundered love the prize.
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved
Feb 2011 · 6.7k
Birdsong melody
woven into morning mist.
Snowdrops, buzzard. Life.
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved
Jan 2011 · 878
bed shared with i. Pad.
shadowed sleep greets echoed dawn
as soul whispers hope.
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved
Jan 2011 · 1.1k
A Savage Spring
A sickly sweet smell lingers
Legs in the air
Bloated bellies

Senseless slaughter
Rivers of blood in country lanes
Hundreds of thousands dead
If this were a war in a foreign land there would be outrage

Instead of crying “Shame… Stop…”
The government shouts “****…Cull…”
and drafts the Army into a battle
on home soil that they're not trained for

It’s got all the facets of a work of fiction
******, lies, cover up
larger than life figures and unsung heroes
And above all, innocent victims

What will our children say
when they read of this real-life genocide?
Heads will hang in shame
and the pervasive memory of death will remain
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved

(Written in Devon, England in April 2001 at the height of the foot and mouth crisis. A forgoten poem, rediscovered this morning as I sort through my office. The poem may have been forgotten for the past decade but the sights and smells of that terrible time are as viseral now as they were then.)
Jan 2011 · 892
Out of madness came serenity
gliding barefoot
across potholed pavements

Swathed in saffron
folded cloth falling gracefully
over peaceful form

Shaven scalp
beatific countenance
eyes cast downwards in respect

Alms bowl held to chest
accepting of all given
accepting if nothing given


A lesson in motionless motion
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved

(Written in a taxi whilst stuck in a traffic jam in downtown Bangkok)
Jan 2011 · 1.0k
Harry's Bar : Monday 7pm
Apples and Blackberrys
The fruits of your belonging
On the table… place of prominence
Screaming ‘look at me!’
Clinging to their network
As you do to yours

Talking to your colleagues
Eyes flitting from one to other
As your fingers anxiously search
The table next to your glass
Constantly seeking the reassurance
Of your disconnected connectivity

Voices compete with ringtones
Over the rumble of the traffic
And the hollow echoes of your laughter
I can’t help but ask myself
Where are you?
Are you really there?
©Jacqueline Le Sueur  2011 All Rights reserved
Jan 2011 · 1.4k
Marching Song
In a place
that I am beyond

Looking down on a life that was
that is no more

Running in my mind
Fingers drumming in my consciousness
a marching song
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved
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