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!



 

Though I’ll food-shop for anyone who asks, I really dread buying clothes. But it was time, so I went with my perpetually beautifully dressed sister-in-law to some stores downtown. The woman who gave me this word helped me find a few dresses and made the whole excursion painless and even fun. The word she gave was a difficult one. Try it – it’s hard to scan. But when I played with phrases, the line I liked most sounded as if it should be the refrain of a villanelle. Google villanelle if you don’t recognize the type of poem. I hadn’t written one before. My poems don’t usually rhyme. But in the end, the rhyming proved to be a good exercise in creativity and resourcefulness (case in point: work/dark/lurk/berserk).

The Stranger: GiGi

Her Word: Fabulous

The poem I wrote:

“for you, in high school”

We fell like kids into fabulous mistakes;
No-one wrote for us how to make it work.
We promised life, a promise long to take.

The time we leapt from rocks into the lake—
We spoke aloud our vows into the dark.
We fell like kids into fabulous mistakes.

We had nothing hidden, nothing we could fake.
The grownups laughed: you two are just berserk.
We promised life, a promise long to take.

It never seemed like age could make us break
Our lovely mess. (They said, your future lurks…)
We promised life, a promise long to take.

We parted then, for each our future’s sake.
(Grow up, they said, get ready to rework!)
We fell like kids into fabulous mistakes.

Look ahead, my love: what else can we make?
We’re joined, even if we’re in the murk.
We fell like kids into fabulous mistakes,
We promised life, a promise long to take.

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