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!


I met Hilary when she was helping coach a women’s fitness class – she was exuberant and positive and sergeant-commanding us to do stuff that HURT, and yet somehow she had us all smiling through it.

The Stranger: Hilary

Her Word: Happy

The poem I wrote:

I tell my friend in her eighties
about my grievances

(a person offended or some skin-stuck mischief
of the body, the small trouble I cause myself,
being not old and not young but at a bridge-age)

and she writes back:
Be happy, dear girl.


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