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!


So I met Rob when I was hanging out with friends at a pub, and that’s funny only because I’m over seven months pregnant and don’t really look like I should be hanging out at pubs. Rob is from Austin, where I grew up, and I’ve learned in my lifetime that Texans anywhere in the world tend to find and gravitate toward each other.

The Stranger: Rob 

His Word: Birth

The poem I wrote:

I want two children
one for each hand

to keep me alive
when beer season

finishes and milk
season comes:

they will harvest
me, they will learn

to be loved, they
will be naturals,

how could they
not be, captives

as they are of
this season.

I will watch
as they undergo

one birth after
another, each birth

a season nobody
can take away.

I want two children
one for each hand.

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