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Phyllis Schwartz

Two Women Walking

two small women,


arms linked,


heads ear to ear.

chuckling and exchanging small conspiracies,

about what will happen on this day.

their cloth bags hanging off their elbows,

swinging their lunch against hips.

on the way

to another job.

cleaning someone else’s house.

watching someone else’s children.

so they can get back to their familias.

a familiar scene

on the road

by the sea.

sweet smiles

crinkling brown eyes

as they wave to me.

Panoche The Town

I think Panoche means coarse brown sugar south of the border.

Or small treats with nuts north of the border.

Or in Slangville, vulva south of my border.

I always get inspired driving up that less than scenic stretch of Interstate 5.

Past the dairy farms with lounging cows of uninspiring smell.

Cow-a-linga…it really does linger.

Or the dusty chemical clouds hanging low over the

DennysBurgerKingMobileGas rest stops.

But my favorite part is trying to remember all the names of the

little towns Panoche, Gustine, Firebaugh, Crows Landing,

Los Banos.

I hear they have some tough little birds around there called

Loggerhead Shrikes.

But the people seem nice,

I wave to them in my mind as I cruise by.

I want to ask them “what the hell is at the end of Fink Road Exit #428?”

and tell them “there’s some folks from my childhood I want to send there.”

But I don’t want to go there no way.

I think next time I’m going to slow down and stop in Panoche if they’ll have me.

Maybe I’ll stay

and get some brown sugar for my coffee.


Phyllis Schwartz is a married mother of two, who, after a highly successful career in the TV news business, finally has the time to indulge in and focus on her “civilian” writing. Even as a kid, she kept a diary and wrote little stories and poems, a creative release that continued well into adulthood. She wrote news by day and poetry by night. And despite battling three different types of cancer over more than three decades, she is still filled with energy, joy, and optimism, and she looks forward to writing much more poetry and children’s books in the future. Her writing often centers on what she observes daily: including her friends, husband, and two children, as well as her garden and her beautiful beach town residence in dreamy Encinitas, all providing continued inspiration for her verse.


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