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!


We had an oops and got a puppy! A really nice female puppy. The oops part is that our 10-month old baby is now teething, trying to eat everything, and mostly sleeping nights; while the puppy is teething but with much sharper teeth, trying to eat everything, and sleeping nights is on her to-do list. The baby and the puppy get along great. They chew on the same toys, though sometimes the puppy tries to eat the baby’s ear. What this all leads up to is that we’ve been out in the evenings doing dog walks. And on one of these walks I met…

The Stranger: Kyndall

Her Word: Dangerous

The poem I wrote:

There are gifts we don’t ask for that descend
On us, those long afternoons in bed. Enjoy
Her, they say. She’ll grow up. Days like this
The only cure is the verb to grow, spindly
As it is without foliage on its branch. We
Enjoy them like spinach. Barely and with iron
Threads between the teeth. What we need
Is a big fat goose: something ridiculous
To feed ourselves while the young can’t
Watch: some gift that fattens, that lifts
The sheets and us out of bed, forcing some
Dangerous taste in our mouths: we made this
Life. We did it and brought it into our mad-
House, one petal-print at a time. To home
A thing is a rented curse: this is your face,
Goofball. It’s your play today, so out
Of bloody bed. You can’t turn
Your back on it, after all.