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 adored meeting Keats. It was at Story Story Night, which left the whole audience feeling hopeful and hungry to add to the green of the world. Keats was with her mother, a friend of mine; I learned that she is studying marine biology and just had her first daughter.

The Stranger: Keats

The Word: Appaloosa

The poem I wrote:

It is afternoon when things
can be made and done, and
clothes drip like moss

about the furniture.
The baby is a fat
beautiful fish heavy

in the bed. At least
as alive as the birds.
Outside the window

there is nothing for us,
inside a room of animals.
This one (we made all this,

it came from our ocean)
an appaloosa, impossible
to keep from running.


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