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Botswana's National Treasure Isn't Even From Around Here

When meteorite crashed inside

the Central Kalahari Game Reserve

they named it Motopi Pan

after a local watering hole.

I imagined hyenas sniggering over pints

and cheetahs crowded together int a corner booth

inevitably arguing —for obvious reasons—

over a game of cards.

The leopards must’ve split when an explosion of

light and sound hit the horizon, then later

found the crater ringed with clumps of earth

and rocks strewn across the Savana.

Concluding it was only dirt, they lost interest

wandered back to their still-warm barstools

clutching handbags fashioned

to mimic their very own print.

What they locals didn’t know was

this hurtling hunk was (literally) older

than the dirt covering the Earth,

Older even than the planet itself.

Twenty two billion years since it broke from

Vesta, our second largest asteroid and

arguably a protoplanet

(Proto— meaning here before all others).

The time traveller burrowed into layers

to join fossilized fronds,

bugs immortalized in amber

and bones of creatures greater than any present living thing.

Within the cradle of civilization

relics gently rock

alongside the newly arrived

the story of our solar system etched into its Zircon arms.


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