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!


In the very early morning, Derrick was delivering croissants from Gaston’s Bakery to the café where my daughter and I sat, she making rubber band bracelets, I working on a piece of writing. He gave my girl the first chocolate croissant of the day.

The Stranger: Derrick

The Word: Snow

The poem I wrote:

You lie down, I cross you, and we raise our arms and legs, making a bowl. Hold us to fire and we will set. Glaze us turquoise with specks of brown. Now our sides are high, we are round-sculpted, and we can hold water. Time to let the children in. They play on us as if a skate park, skittering inside. A single nudge and we go to sea, for we are made of the stuff that floats. Will we hold our shape once they grow? How well sculpted are we and will we be shaped like a bowl forever, strong enough to hold snow without breaking, and ready to carry years, to last long enough? This is how parents are shaped. Round, set, glazed, and patient.

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