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 I 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!


I took my 4-year-old fishing. We had anise-scented fish “marshmallows” for bait and a clamped down barb on our hook in case we caught anything. We were of split hopes: my son wished for a catch, while I wished for a day at the pond. We stayed an hour, caught no fish, and so my wish prevailed. This stranger, Suvad, was at the pond with his rod and looked as if he knew what he was doing. He had caught nothing, which surprised him, for he told us that in the fifteen years he’d been fishing, “I haven’t once bought fish at the store.”

The Stranger: Suvad

The Word: Fishing

The poem I wrote:

“On fishing for reasons”

Like any god
I give my whole
To one man, one woman.


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