Happy Birthday, Colleen J. McElroy

Today is the birthday of the inimitable Colleen J. McElroy. In celebration I refer you to my History Link article about Colleen, and to her essay in English Matters (Spring 2011) about post-retirement travels. 

And here’s a poem from her latest book, Here I Throw Down My Heart (U of Pittsburgh Press, 2012):

Crossing the Rubicon at Seventy

we do not know the name
of the river that roils
beneath us until we arrive
at its shores — until we give
reason to pass along or stay
there where waters sound
like uncut jewels swirling
in a tide pool — until the little
boats we’ve made fold like kites
in a storm — until we’ve come
to that point where turning mid-
stream is outside reason and staying
lays sour on the tongue — know
you have shaped a raft before
floating with the current toward
another long day’s journey — know
you have yet another reason
to reinvent yourself before
you take the last route home

–Colleen J. McElroy


5 replies
  1. Carolynne Harris
    Carolynne Harris says:

    The poem is lovely and so is the author – reinventing ourselves means always changing and learning and having time to do so – Our speaker at church today had the sermon title “Falling into Grace.” She is turning 65 this month. She is Judy from Las Vegas and rides a Harley. She is full of life and wears a lot of bling. I wore a necklace today just cause she likes bling. She married two bikers in Las Vegas last night – Halloween night, she asked them where they wanted to be married, the only place was the biker’s club. Judy told them to turn off their bikes and turn off that profane music, and get away from the bar. And 65 bikers in Halloween costumes behaved and made a sanctuary. Her alter was in front of the pole, but the pole dancer was not performing.

  2. Colleen J. McElroy
    Colleen J. McElroy says:

    Although I came upon this site more than a year later, indeed I enjoyed the wedding story. The miracle is that we can make the ordinary extraordinary.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *