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!


It was a perfect autumn Saturday when Kris and I met while getting onto our bicycles. Her home is in Wisconsin but she is living for six months in Boise. “This place is amazing!” she said.

The Stranger: Kris

Her Word: Utopia

The poem I wrote:

My first bite was for trying
to put a doll’s dress on
an alligator lizard. Sure,
I deserved it. Sure, blood
got involved. Sure, I failed
to grasp that it must be
another utopia, not ours,
where the smallest creatures
let us do anything we want.

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