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!


Happy Valentine’s Day, dear generous readers of Poetry for Strangers! Here’s Poem #241.

Date night, Red Feather. Our server said in the sweetest voice, “My name is Bodie and I will take great care of you.” “I am absolutely certain you will,” I said. “I heart you, sister!” he sang out as he left our table. When I asked for a word, he said: “Illusion, if you want a real word. Starmony if you will accept a made-up one.”

The Stranger: Bodie

The Word: Starmony

The poem I wrote:

She said, I feel left out. She said, if only
I had a necklace with one other girl,
a silver heart broken on purpose
down the middle, the illusion that
be   st   frie  nds must belong
in a pairing, like cheese and wine,
a christening into starmony that lasts;
an armor to wear to school and not
be alone, a sort of badge of love. Men, they
race arms. Children, these girls, see how.

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