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!


My babies are an inch from outgrowing our current bicycle rigging, and as a result I got myself a tremendous gift from the store that these strangers’ family owns: an electric cargo bike for tootling people and their cargo around town. Kai and Tashi, assisted by their dog Dharma, showed me the bike and all its tricks.

The Strangers: Kai + Tashi

The Word: Happiness

The poem I wrote:

This riotous cavorting.
Carriage of a load
of animals, mine:
So much noise.
So much boister.
Is happiness not
the certainty that—
once—I was wild
as they are, & on
certain nights
in certain moons
still I match their wild?

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