Nels Hanson
Rip Van Winkle
I dreamed my wife was angry,
furious again, harangued me
fiercely before the neighbors’ 

children, said I was a shiftless 
simpleton, idiot who couldn’t 
tell sun from rain. She swung 

the broom and I ran, hurried 
away into dark woods, on and 
on, until I met Henry Hudson 

and Dutch sailors from the old 
Half Moon, all drinking strong 
bitter ale, and playing ninepins 

falling loud as summer thunder 
when they bowled them down.
Now I lay down, happy, groggy

from their powerful brew, slept, 
then woke, late twenty years for 
supper, leaped up and rushed in
tattered homespun, a long beard 
white and tangled with autumn
leaves. I saw her on the stoop,

in the open lit doorway, raising 
the broom, in her gloved hand 
a black skillet red from the fire.