Cannot Predict Now
by Claire Scott

It's about time we had a few local oracles
maybe one right here in Oakland, California
where lord knows we could use a little help
Is a sheer blouse too much at sixty-five?
Must we invite our mother-in-law for dinner
when last time she saw us sneaking scotch?

Of course we should pick a woman, like Pythia
at Delphi, and a lottery is clearly the fairest
guaranteeing all who identify as women get a free
ticket, no need for a picture ID or a ten hour wait
in line, shivering and starving and having to pee
or proof of a ten year residency in Oakland, California

So off we go to the grand opening at Jack London Square
complete with colorful togas and off key anthems to our main man Apollo
we ask our burning question: Can we wear nightgowns to Zoom meetings?
through the acrid fumes we hear: when the bird comes you will know
for weeks we obsess over every sparrow, every finch, even a crow
or two, looking for a sign and suddenly we realize

Wait a minute, no money back guarantee
no ability to sue for malpractice
any inconsistencies between prophecies and events
are simply a failure to correctly interpret the response
a twenty page legal document signed before approaching
the sibyl, copious footnotes in five point type

Think of poor Croesus who dutifully consulted
the oracle at Delphi before attacking Persia
If Croesus goes to war he will destroy a great empire
the reply seemed favorable and he rallied his troops
Croesus lost his empire and was burned alive
sorry Croesus, SOL

So maybe think twice before dropping a few thou
at Cutting Edge Oracle right here in Oakland, California
use a Magic 8-Ball, available from Amazon for $15.50
to ask if you should put a profile on SilverSingles
and you may get ask again later, reply hazy,
better not tell you now or don't count on it

but it only cost a few dollars


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