how long does it take a snowflake
to reach the surface of the earth
and disintegrate on the crusty soil?
the unlikely order, crystal clear,
is only short-lived.
it would be too easy at this point,
to throw in some metaphors,
or shallow symbolism.
a scientific answer please.
preferably amply illustrated,
with diagrams and graphs.
like the copper engravings
in old physics books,
or the handwritten notes
of the gentlemen scientists of the Enlightenment.
gall, soot, and iron sulphate,
leave translucent words,
on brown, brittle, sub-standard paper.
obviously that last verse was a device
to draw your attention away
from the white pristine ice crystal
to the brownish physicality of dirt
it even fooled me,
my mind went from pure blinding white
to the blackish brown of molten tar.
the black clump of earth,
an amorphous conglomerate of water drops,
slowly taking shape,
forming six-sided branches,
little mathematical twigs,
getting whiter and whiter,
finer and finer,
attracting other crystals,
until a flake has been formed,
ready to fly.
and with an imperceptible shock,
it pulls itself away from the soil,
and soars back to the cool blue sky.