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!


Hi all,

I’ve been trying to make many of my heavy paper files digital, and this week’s stranger helped me with a beast of a scanning project. I asked her for a word, and it turned into a great conversation.

The stranger: Becca works at my local library and is having a baby in just a few weeks.

Her word: Birth

The poem I wrote:

It is a constant push,
isn’t it, this being

born from one city
into another city,

one job into another
job, one love affair

into something like it
but not quite? Birth

happens again each time
we look up and ask:

where are we now,
where have we been,

where will we go?


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