Detritus Falling

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There has been no snow this winter at least nothing that has stuck. A few flakes in October and the other night in hard wind I watched fat flakes get pushed upwards. There in the night under the spotlight of Suburbia I watched the flakes struggle against gravity riding pushing winds back to the clouds. The snow refused to fall.

My daughter pointed to the spotlight on the side of the house “Look Dad the snow is falling up”.

In the darkness I closed my eyes, stuck my tongue out and hoped for a flake to fall.

“They’re falling up Dad”

“One is bound to fall down and land on my tongue” I told her.

She closed her eyes and waited.

“What are you thinking about honey?”

“I’m picturing one landing on my tongue. What about you?” she asked.

“Marine snow, Shel Silverstein.”


I had confused her.

“You said Falling Up like the book I use to read you.”

She giggled. “What’s Marine snow?”

“It’s Detritus”

“What’s Detritus?”

“Well right now I am the bottom of the sea and I’m a crab. It’s dark, I have my mouth open and I am waiting for all the scraps falling down. All that stuff is what feeds the sea. The detritus. I image crabs feel like children when the snow falls.”

“That’s gross” she said as the images appeared in her mind. A snow flake landed on her tongue “EWWWW SNOW”.

“Does that marine snow taste fishy?”
She smiled “Daaaaad!”.

In the moment I did my best to make my hands look like crab claws and I chased her around the yard trying to tickle her. I could feel the sand under my feet.

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