Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

POEM: A Single Woman Argues with Ecclesiastes

Two are better than one

proclaimed the ancient preacher.

Because, essentially, together they produce more income.

But what if one cannot work?

And even if both are skilled and able-bodied and employable,

who will watch the children?

Two are better than one

said the son of David.

Because they can lie together for warmth,

and how can one be warm alone?

Thank goodness, then, for down comforters

and modern heating.

Two are better than one

declared the king of Jerusalem.

For if one falls, the other shall lift; woe to the one

who is alone when she falls.

A thought: assisted living.

Another: Life Alert ®.

Two are better than one

continued Kohelet.

For if an antagonist appears, the two will stand against him

with strength one cannot possess.

Here, I have no counter-argument.

I simply—singly—hope for the best.

Erika Dreifus writes prose and poetry in New York. Visit her online at and follow her on Twitter @ErikaDreifus, where she tweets “on matters bookish and/or Jewish.”





    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.