"I Remember You," "An Old Church," and "Like a Sun Dial"

I Remember You

I remember you on hot desert afternoons and 
cool dark nights away from the house 
away from prying older eyes and ears 
when we were young and it all lay before us. 
And I remember you on Midwest roads and 
on joyful highways away from all the others  
away from the past and the future tense 
when we were still young and it was still possible. 
And I remember you in a different desert and 
a dozen other far places away from our friends 
away from any sight, away from any harm 
when we were not so young and it must end. 
And I remember you in a place rediscovered and 
a narrow passageway away from the crowd 
away from the light, the revealing light 
when fading young memory edged toward end. 
And, perhaps, sometime at sunset 
when shadows bathe the desert floor 
or darken the darkened woods,   
perhaps you will remember, too.



An Old Church

There used to be an old wood church,  
out in the country not so far 
from town with peeling paint and 
a roof that needed to be replaced. 
It had been built at the 
turn of the previous century 
for the farm folks who lived 
nearby and tilled the fields and 
tended the cattle and dug the 
hills for coal, leaving big holes 
along the side of a bare hollow. 
There was a huge oak tree 
just outside by the cemetery and 
across the street was the old 
school where all the farm children 
had been taught long ago. 
The old school was empty now and 
the old church was empty and  
all that was left of it were memories  
of sermons and weddings and funerals and 
they were fewer and fewer and  
then one quiet afternoon the church 
was bulldozed down and loaded onto 
dump trucks and taken to the dump and the 
oak tree was cut down and 
all that was left was the empty school and 
the filling cemetery and a few aging 
people who seldom thought about the 
church or even remembered where it used to be. 



Like a Sun Dial

Minimized, abandoned, value-less 
in dark and shadowed times, 
meaningless in rain, snow, or 
wind-whipped storm. 
Old-fashioned, quaint, antique 
in face of intricate timeworks, 
useless by comparison, judged  
imperfect, flawed. 
Oh, but on those bright days 
with light shining down, how 
then you reach your peak, ascend 
the summit of happy accuracy, your 
unique beauty and exceptional worth, 
singular and wondrously rare to see. 



J. B. Hogan

J. B. Hogan has published over 280 stories and poems and eleven books, including Bounty RidersBar Harbor, Time and Time AgainMexican SkiesTin HollowLiving Behind TimeLosing CottonThe RubiconFallenThe Apostate, and Angels in the Ozarks (nonfiction, local professional baseball history). He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, February 21, 2022 - 22:03