Poetry: After Luther’s Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Making Up a Room For Grief

by Joshua Gibbs

Lest I be surprised and over

thrown as though by a family of five

arriving suddenly before dawn announcing

a twelve year residency in my tiny


I have decided to begin making up a room

for Grief I do not know

when he will come but when he does

I want him to be comfortable

I have made up a bed for Grief beside

a warm gorgeous yellow lamp

so he can read his terrible books late into the night, laughing

I have eaten less sumptuously but not given to the poor

because I do not want them to eat Grief’s food

I have slept less, saving those spared hours

like pennies in a jar for Grief so he can sleep till noon

if he pleases I purchased with my tithes a robe

I do not wear but save hanged

on a peg behind Grief’s door so he need not embarrass himself

when he rises wandering naked through my home

I have given away my sharpest knives gun and poison

lest Grief get any big ideas

when the evening comes I expect him to knock

although I know he owes me no such courtesy

He is a grown man for God’s sake and the house

belongs to him anyway

Published by Joshua Gibbs

Sophist. De-activist. Hack. Avid indoorsman.

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