Song for Survival

Angie Macri

You find your father’s View-Master and put the red eyes
to your face.  It’s old, but the trigger still advances the wheel
with a spring.  I see, you say, as you click through one called
Struggle for Existence.  The dinosaurs’ noses loom against
yours, the captions full of doom:  the monsters screamed
their anger; the earth shook.  You study sulfur skies and teeth
on necks and bellies, patches of red raw flesh, the world fuming.
I look through the other wheels for something more moderate,
but even the one for the herbivores begins and ends with death.
It can’t be like this.  Volcanoes explode again in the background
and the animals try to graze the dry earth, their spines
no protection as carnivores hunt them down.  They abandon
their eggs to hatch in the heat of the blunt sun.  Oh no,
you say, and keep looking no matter what other toy I offer.