Volume 33, Number 2

The Apatosaurus Leans over the Crèche

His tail threatens to topple the three Zoroastrians
just arriving from the left of the coffee table,
where magazines have been pushed aside

to make room for the doe-eyed holy family
and the men and livestock gathered round.
My granddaughter walks her triceratops

up between the camels and the donkey
to make what looks like a mixture of
nativity scene and Kent Hovind tableau

of young earth creationism. Christian pre-school,
so far, has been mostly songs and smeary
red & orange handprints signifying autumn,

easing her parents’ fears of indoctrination
before she can form her own mind. Yet nature
and grandparents abhor a vacuum,

so we put out the familiar figures for her
to play with. After placing Mommy & Daddy
beside the baby, she returns to building her

tower of Duplos, leaving the shepherds
to adore the holy child while, behind them,
a velociraptor creeps toward their lambs.

—David E. Poston