Anna Mae Marheineke, RSCJ, was a talented and much-loved educator, who touched countless lives in her long ministry of education. She was also a talented poet. A collection of her poetry was published by the alumni association of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, St. Charles. Below are two of the poems included in the booklet, both dedicated to the students she loved so much and so well.
“Were it not that I have … Dreams” (Hamlet)
Dedicated to the children at Grand Coteau
Not bad dreams. Not
the ghoulish kind that stalk
one through the night
and corner one, and walk.
wildly into dawn. These dreams
are gentle. Of children who
go shyly up the stairs
and, when I call to them through
many distances away, nod
charmingly and smile the sun
around my heart. Oh, children
can seal my soul in joy, can run
across my life like petals blown
beautiful and free of flower and stem.
Then are my nights merry when
dreams bring them
dancing down the halls, or find
their dark and golden heads bent
to books in classrooms where
I loved them so, where I meant
to fill with infinity of beauty
those eager minds intensely
looking out through wide, grave eyes.
So they come, immensely
comforting, curtseying across
the long, the happy years. I see
them thus in dreams, always gay,
always, I like to think, with love for me.
To the Third Academic
There are thirty-three
sitting expectantly before me.
I look at them and try to plumb their thoughts, to see
in eyes gray-blue and brown
flames of curiosity blown
to intellect’s full blossom. Light
in their earnest faces upturned
to catch, perhaps, a breath
of wisdom’s fragrance burned
beautiful by years. O Lord, let
Your Spirit be their shibboleth,
Your Love beget
in them enthusiasm eager and swift
for the Truth You are. And bright
be their seeking, stirred
to unquenchable joy at the fountain
of your Word.