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!


The babies and I visited four playgrounds on a single Sunday before leaving Boston. At the final one we met Heidi, journalist and parent and wonderful conversationalist.

The Stranger: Heidi

The Word: Warmth

The poem I wrote:

This love of boats
did not come
from me. This
boy, my boy,
in a kayak
for hours. So many
I can’t believes
in my mind
making wake.
I see what he gets:
buoyancy, air,
and on his back
the sun, warmth
dissolving the space
between any two of us
like salt in water.
A way to protect
the invisible world.

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