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 met Edit in a town called Headington, just east of Oxford. I loved both her and her name. She stood straight, focused, and in all black, like a perfect punctuation mark. She took a long time to think of a word, because I know that in my asking she had summoned so many. She searched the rooftops out the window before saying, “Morning.” I asked with or without a “u”. “Without!” she said. Being up early brings the most astonishing energy, we agreed in the conversation that followed. Edit said: “Morning holds a key. But I miss it most of the time.”

The Stranger: Edit

The Word: Morning

The poem I wrote:

Facts be beautiful, animals be fierce. What you see before the world wakes: Two raccoons above the earth, hungry. A dog who rose before the canicular sun. Three animals so wild awake. The fight the dog initiated (In such a fight there are always too many teeth ––) Facts be beautiful: the dog was bigger. Animals be fierce: raccoons can brawl. The dog had one in its mouth before the second streaked from the gutter and tore at the dog’s back. The first raccoon climbed a tree as soon as the dog cried. The dog, sensing defeat, peed and moved on. There would be food at home. There was nothing left for night to do. And then, it was morning.

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