Poetry Month: Grapple with Graupel 16 of 30

For the month of April, I'll be writing poetry each day in celebration of National Poetry Month.  I've decided not choose a theme, not to plan the writing, but instead to wait to see what poetry finds me each day. 

Today's poem comes from a little conversation.

"It is April, right?" I moaned as I came into the building from outside.  "I don't even know what to call what it is doing outside.  It looks like little tiny snow pellets out there.  It isn't hail.  It isn't sleet.  It isn't snow." 

"Maybe it's brickle," my friend quipped. 

"Brickle?  What's that?" I asked.

"What it is doing outside," she chuckled.  "It's a bit like snow."

It was true.  What I had seen was a bit like snow, but it wasn't those giant beautiful flakes we've come to know.  However, it wasn't as hard as hail which seems to be much more like an ice ball.  

I had to find out what it was called.  Some back and forth with my friend this evening, and a bit of internet sleuthing, turned up graupel.  I think it describes today's precipitation perfectly.  (See below for some more fun snow info.)  

Grapple with Graupel
What do we say when
winter and spring
play tug of war and
we are left
at the mercy of
Mother Nature?

What do we call
the mix of precipitation
we experience
in the in-between?
Is it snow?
Is it ice?

When it isn't
snow or hail or ice or rain,
what do we call it?
What is the name for
a snowball falling
from the sky?

What is the name
of this small
fluffy ball of white;
bigger than a raindrop,
smaller than hail,
yet perfectly round?

What do we call
the in-between
of rain and snow?
I'll just pause
to let you
graupel with that.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2018

A Few Interesting Links
How Is Sleet, Why Is Hail and WTF Is Graupel
Inuit Words for Snow (there's like a hundred!)
Merriam-Webster:  Graupel (with a word of the day recording)
Washington Post: There Really are 50 Eskimo Words for Snow 


  1. Pretty sure I am glad we are not experiencing this right now in Colorado, even though we definitely could use the moisture! I have never heard of graupel! But I love your grapple/graupel wordplay!

  2. This is so clever. The closing pun is wonderful, and I love the use of questions to make us think.

  3. HAHAHAHA! That ending!!

    My students called it SN-AIL. Snow+hail.


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