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!


Boise finished digging into itself for an urban overhaul, an awesome subterranean bus terminal in the heart of downtown. I went down to visit it one day after lunch. Billy, who works as a director for Valley Ride, was standing on one of the busiest streets, waiting to greet some of the bus operators.

The Stranger: Billy

The Word: Ambition

The poem I wrote:

The end is clear
in any story: green
potted joy with
upward shoots
like fireworks.
We stand here,
apart. Ambition
is a way of asking
how do you get there
again and again.

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