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!


In a shop that sells yarn, two girls sat at a table in a high-windowed back room, knitting two baby blankets and a headband. “They want to be pioneer women,” Lynda, the owner, told me. “I tell them, good for you—but still you need to work on your math.” Flecks of snow marked the sky. When we left the shop, Lynda and another woman had joined the knitting girls, and the image impressed itself on me: two women, two girls, making things with their hands.

The Stranger: Lynda

The Word: Knitting

The poem I wrote:

Picture you in the snow
on a Tuesday afternoon
darkening. A time boding
sadness or comfort,
depending on who you
are with and what you are
making. Here, the world
is complete. Knitting the future
from scraps of memory,
yarn by yarn, wish by wish.

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