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!


In a building that towers over my city, my person and I went to an event for a theater we support. Dan was serving wine, and we learned that he had volunteered for this theater for 21 years. We sat talking, surrounded by windows filled with the night-lit city, feeling like we could make a difference. As I composed this poem I was thinking about the act of raising a boy in a country dominated by grown men using not-quite grown-up antics—men who were once, presumably, some woman’s sweet boys.

The Stranger: Dan

The Word: Delight

The poem I wrote:

I tell you, the fact

Of boy

their bottoms wrapped
in paper

like something
from the market.


heavy like blocks
of a bridge.

(a scramble of boys,
each insisting
he is no baby)

Boys tossing
boys grabbing

boys making laws

boys playing

heavy boys grow hair
and depart
dampening their towelly

Our green and blue
world filled
to its yellow top with all these


asking if one
is a lot and

women say



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