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 had the chance to interview this stranger for an article I’m writing about Green Chutes, a Boise artists co-op whose operations she manages. She told me about the art, the artists, the small juggling acts of each day.

The Stranger: Joneen

Her Word: Balance

The poem I wrote:

Hello stormhusband, said the stormwife.
Sorry to bother but I did see you watching
the bat-scented water as it fattens the rivers
on down to the sea, where seals rip the surface
like black ghosts. We have so little anchoring
us together except how hard we both work
to balance on these continents. But some
days that is enough. So hello, storm-
husband. I am your stormwife.

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