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!


I led a writing workshop at Willow Park Senior Living to a fabulous group of writers. We wrote about the eras—the ages—in our lives. It took place just before Thanksgiving, so I left thinking about which details we remember, how thankful we as writers must be for them.

The Strangers: Willow Park Writers

The Word: Age

The poem I wrote:

Yours the frog.
Yours the stereo.
Yours the frozen

cabin or the empty
room. But the whole
life is ours, its river-bends,

its fortunate shallows, even
its family of beasts
and branches.

Nobody escapes
without a story to tell.

If we are lucky,
age will happen
to us. If we are lucky,

these stories
will mark us,
they will say,

“Mine. Mine.
I need you
to tell me.”

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