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 this stranger at the holiday party of Boise’s literary hub, The Cabin. It is so friendly there. At the end of the night we were hanging out in the Red Fir Room, whose rustic wooden walls make it almost as good as a tree-house. She looked straight at an owl picture hanging on the wall, and I would’ve bet $5 she was going to say owl. But she didn’t.

The Stranger: Arlie

Her Word: Plant

The poem I wrote:

Still we are stuck in soil, just solving
the problems of the everyday. The sun
problem. The problem of getting along
with others. My face gives me away
each time but if I need to I can keep
a secret. See these lateral shoots, my
adventitious roots? So faithless
to each country’s soil. Rhizomes
share a problem: Plant us and we grow.

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