Poetry for Strangers is about finding inspiration in community, in people, in the chance encounters of everyday life. PFS suggests that every person can be a “muse” of a poem. Every week of this year I will ask a stranger for a single word and then write a poem inspired by the word. I invite you to do the same.

Share your poem on this week’s word!


My crew and I got stranded in an airport. Our first flight flew late, while our connecting flight left on time. I thought it was so cozy, being stuck in transit with my family of four! My daughter, on the other hand, was stricken. We were going home and we had plans. She didn’t want to change them. Next to us sat a couple who looked well-traveled. They were facing the airplanes out the huge window and talking to one another. Let’s ask them, I said to my girl, if they’ve ever had times when travel didn’t go as planned. Their answer: “Always!”

The Strangers: Susan and Jim

The Word: Adventure

The poem I wrote:

We’ve reached the Age
when us becomes them
and the versus drops
off to sleep.
Through our weapons
we master beasts—
metal, fear. Our wisest
wishes came to life while we
were still in our pajamas.
One promise explodes
under the sun, another
pools away in the rich
soil of interrupted sleep.
A child blows a dandelion,
says: Wishes you’ve used
before never work.
Love, things didn’t unravel
as we had planned.
We stand in the grass
weaponless. Yet
what I overlooked
was the adventure—
the mazish joy
in having everything
work out so well
even against our efforts. 

The Challenge: Do you have a poem in you on this word? Write one here.