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 husband later observed that it was our most American day ever. Freda and Dale raise buffalo, and last spring their gang had several calves. My family and our neighbor drove out to their ranch and fed the buffalo carrots. It was a incredible ranch, with land stretching as far as the eye could see, a “shed” for kids to play in, a wrap-around porch circling the house, and in the air the kind of vigorous silence that only exists in the country. The buffalo wore remnants of their winter coats like matted mohawks on the tops of their backs. I admired the animals’ eyes (as big as a child’s fist) and the size of their shaggy heads (if the head had been a crate, it could’ve held my two-year-old). At the end of the morning, we picked from a bright tree a bucketful of cherries to bake in a pie.

The Strangers: Freda & Dale

Their Word: Sensuous

The poem I wrote:

Man brings woman
water in the night,
sensuous as an animal
raising its head.

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