. Vaticination Sibylla says, Fear archers of immunity! Beware the vanguard shock troops sharpening double tongues, Whetted with grave authority To weaken hearts and spew contagion into lungs. They bend ingenious bows of bitter consequences; The arrows superspread aberrant effluences Throughout a population’s rungs, First targeting hale elders, and those with frail defenses. More missiles wound the unsuspecting innocent, Who for protection bargain uninformed consent, But safety is impermanent: There will be endless piercings for new pestilences. The combatants shoot swiftly, without a care to hide The afterwrath descending on the indigent, Subservient, parturient, And others whom injections will have mortified Some few years hence, when stealthy novelties produce Diseases irresistible in all who tried To get back lives they set aside, Surrendering bare arms to unplanned suicide. So many dullards due consideration lacked, Or clutched vain hope, or fell as victims of abuse, And only God can set them loose, In mooted mercy for the multitude attacked. How wonderful He makes my longing love for them, The right of heart, or dupes I scarcely can contemn, But with the screaming shaft, what truce? It kills, and cackles at the unacknowledged fact. . vaticination: prophecy Sibylla: name for various women who uttered oracles in classical antiquity . . Margaret Coats lives in California. She holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University. She has retired from a career of teaching literature, languages, and writing that included considerable work in homeschooling for her own family and others.