In Deep

Anne Magee Dichele
Author photograph by Joshua Dichele  

Waiting for Wisdom, Anne Magee Dichele’s first poetry collection, offers strong, honest poems that do not shy away from the pain life doles out, but face that pain with such philosophy, joie de vivre, and generosity of spirit that they have much to teach us. Just as Professor Dichele enriches the lives of her students, she will enrich the readers of these poems in ways that will leave them changed for good. One example of many is a poem entitled “As Evening Approaches.” The poet seems to be addressing herself as she tells how a woman learns to sit comfortably with her aloneness: “…you light a fire, sip a scotch, / savor that at least this night / you have not run from what is. / In shyness, finally, / asking yourself to dance.” These poems ask readers to dance with them and with themselves.
Cover Photo
Front Cover Artwork by Shirley Patxot
(“Whispering Wisdom”)
About Waiting for Wisdom, Marge Piercy writes, “It is a pleasure to find well-crafted, honest and insightful poems about aging, contemplating mortality, rejoicing in what can still be enjoyed.”

Anne Magee Dichele has always had a passion for social justice in education, and for providing all children with the opportunity to be taught by talented and compassionate teachers. With that in mind, she worked her way through college and graduate school (she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut) by teaching reading and writing to disadvantaged children. Her passion has also led her to write several children’s books. In 1997, she founded, along with five other teachers, a charter school in South Norwalk, Connecticut, of which she is currently Chair of the Board. Anne Dichele has for many years been a full-time Professor of Reading and Language Arts in the Quinnipiac University School of Education, training teachers to promote the power of the written word in their classrooms. Recently, her life-long love of poetry has been bolstered by involvement in writing groups, including one led by Marge Piercy. Anne lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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ISBN 978-1-936482-52-8

Copyright © 2013 by Anne Magee DIchele

5.5" x 8.5"chapbook, perfect bound, 42 pages




Woman ate first
of the apple
not in disobedience

but intuitively
that Paradise
was not all it was
cracked up to be:

happy blandness—
life without woe
or wonder.

Adam may still
be watching ball games
on Sunday afternoons

but as for Eve,
she needs to write

After Fifty

The people I love now,
the ones I want to be with,
are those of the light.
Not moaners,
they do not pretend to be more
or less
than who they are.

They laugh much,
they know God.

My foot starts tapping
at falsehoods and braggadocio.
I feign politeness,
trying to find what I can in the
discomfort of it,

but mostly wanting to go home,
pluck around on the piano,
watch the sparrow out my front window.

Bucket to Shoulder

Most days, I can forget
I am not long for this world.
But night’s tender fingers
now wrap often round my throat,
I tremble in darkness,
choking on the question
Has any of it mattered?

I miss the timelessness of youth,
wasting days as thoughtlessly
as running the faucet
while brushing my teeth,
unaware of millions
who trek miles, bucket to shoulder,
just to survive another day.

Now always they are with me.
I see them walking, walking—
calloused soles,
rusted pails filled as they return
to their lives, and I to mine,

together and alone,
heavy burdened.


As a child
I witnessed
a hurricane.

The nearby beach
where we played
became furious,

pounding surf
so thunderous
vibrations shook
my house.

I stood with my father,
yellow rubber raincoat
slapping loudly,

exhilarated by salt-taste
winds that stung my face

while Neptune sucked
into his belly
all the ocean
he could hold,

hurling rocks
against the cement retaining wall,
shattering them like crystal,

over and over
seaweed, stones, sea.

Such a huge display—
I could not move from it,

crying out when my father,
suddenly clutched me to his chest
and rushed me home in his arms.

Years later,
the gasping and heaving
of my father’s dying
brought back that day,
as his gnarled and blue-veined hands
for the little girl in me.

I was, in his last moments,
as on that day of the hurricane,
compelled to watch
in fear and awe
a power I did not understand.

No one carried me home.

Long Hair

We are asked to give up much:
smooth bellies for babies,
taut teats for milking,
solitude and sleep.

High heels and menstruation
were easy yields,
but women whose estrogen
is ebbing
feel unworthy
of locks longer than their sagging
years, or shoulders.

I don’t give a damn.

My never-tamed curls
will spill down my back
in protest.

We have surrendered
far too much of who we are.

My days are short
but not my hair.

As Evening Approaches

Loneliness is the worst best thing.
Saturday nights on the couch,
weddings at the back table,
sitting all night
with great-aunts in wheelchairs,

sinking into the sadness
until even breathing seems an effort,
listening for your own pulse
assuring you have not died.

Only when your bones ache
from sitting this one out,
no longer able to roam each room of the house,
memories clutched in your hand like playing cards,
shuffling through exquisite minor moments
lost to all but you,

do you invite aloneness to come in,
find a comfortable chair
and sit.

There won’t be much to say, at first,
but over time a space begins to open
for something larger than your small life,
so you light a fire, sip a scotch,
savor that at least this night
you have not run from what is.

In shyness, finally,
asking yourself to dance.

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