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 friends,

How is your start to February going? Quiet, exciting, something else? Recently I’ve been meeting more interesting strangers than I could possibly write poems for. Here is one…

The stranger: Pat, who works at the delicious Cornerstone Bistro in Caldwell, ID, and who has a palpable sense of hope and joy about him.

His word: Excitement

The poem I wrote:

When pipes freeze
or something dismal
happens, you know

it is not the worst.

It is merely excitement.
It is one more thing
that ferries us from our


lens into a story
that we can tell and share
with others,

elevatoring us down,

down, into being

more human
on the other side.

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