Diane Solis

The Nurses Saved Me

  1. After she died, I was lost, I wanted to be like a dry
  2. windswept thing—the city was rank
  3. with predators, so I fled to the desert.
  1. There the nurse-sherpas told stories
  2. of their travels—the old hiker on the peak
  3. attacked and almost scalped one night by a bear.
  1. When it left, they propped up the elder
  2. against a tree and dug in on either side to warm him
  3. with their bodies, keeping him awake with stories
  1. whispered all night long, so he wouldn't freeze
  2. or fall sideways and bleed to death
  3. before one could run for help in the morning.
  1. Meanwhile, they were terrified of the bear's violence
  2. who ravaged his tent, scavenging there and away—
  3. a musky blackness returning throughout the night.
  1. Listening to their stories beneath the stars I was
  2. distracted from everything, so close to the fire
  3. my boots turned gooey, the toes melting.
  1. The next day on a high outcropping we rested
  2. from hiking. I closed my eyes contemplating
  3. while the wind buffeted billowing all around me
  1. and wanted to leap, to see how glorious
  2. far from this world and my suffering
  3. the wind's wildness and furry would take me
  1. …but knew the nurses on either side
  2. would try to save me, and couldn't risk
  3. their loss with me.
Diane Solis has practiced contemplative meditation for more than twenty years. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Avocet, Label Me Latina/o, Ocho, Parabola online, and elsewhere. Few places happier than out on the trails, Diane enjoys traveling to experience, photograph, and write about the natural world. She resides with her life partner in the Pacific Southwest.