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Tuesday, July 06, 2021


by Dustin Michael

Researchers in Australia have confirmed the discovery of Australia's largest dinosaur species ever found. Australotitan cooperensis was about 80 to 100 feet long and 16 to 21 feet tall at its hip. It weighed somewhere between 25 and 81 tons. For comparison, the Tyrannosaurus rex was about 40 feet long and 12 feet tall. Photo: Scott Hocknull and Eromanga Natural History Museum Director Robyn Mackenzie hold a model of what the humerus of the dinosaur would have looked like next to the fossilized remains of the humerus. Credit: Eromanga Natural History Museum via NPR,June 8, 2021.

What is the price for a puppet show with 
fewer puppets but more stories? Always 
the same story endlessly staged, 
every age’s marionettes and the same 
tired tale, a shifting cast of shadows 
behind the age-old screen.

Study any desert, and behold 
that same sun blistering their backs,
baking their bodies and bones, the breadcrumbs 
of immigrants, their grim trail markers and that same
the docile plodding rhythm, a drumbeat of footsteps 
from the fossil record ringing through time. 

Here is another variation. 
They walked, shielding their young 
with their own bodies, their necks 
like cracked leather, craned high
toward new skies, the breath
of hunger, thirst, and danger fogging 
each footfall, their scaled feet disturbing 
the dust, scattering already ancient rocks, stale
wind whistling faint melody in the world’s eternal 

The news reports these dinosaur bones came 
from creatures as big as basketball courts
whose Patagonian ancestors crossed connected 
continents and arrived in Australia. 
No boats to be turned back, no papers to be denied, 
no armed agents or bureaucratic barriers to halt them—
only land in stretches longer 
than even their tales and necks,
and vengeful heat, and hungry earth
whispering Not to worry, not to worry, 
even if they never find all of your bones
the story of your journey 
will always be retold. 

Faith-based groups are working to protect migrants and honor those who have died while attempting to cross the southern border from Mexico into the United States. Humane Borders is an organization that sets up water stations in the Arizona desert on routes used by migrants to cross the border. The group also works with Pima County chief medical examiner Dr. Gre Hess to document the discovery of bodies of those who died on the journey. According to the Associated Press, Hess's office received the remains of 79 border-crossers this year as of late May. In 2020, Humane Borders documented 227 deaths, the highest in a decade after a record hot and dry summer in Arizona. Activists fear this year will be even worse. —Newsweek, July 5, 2021. Photo: Unidentified bones found in the desert and suspected to be that of a migrant are assembled together for examination at the Pima County Medical Examiner's forensic labs in Tucson, Ariz. Credit: Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press via The Journal, July 5, 2021.

Dustin Michael lives in Georgia and teaches college writing and literature. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals and his favorite dinosaur is stegosaurus, not that anyone asked.