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by Laura L. Snyder

Andrea is a boulderer. She climbs big, hunking rock
faces without ropes or pitons. She is Spider Woman
when she moves across a rock. Her long arms and legs
are a gift. Her back is so muscled that she could be
a model for a medical drawing.

She met her man in Spain. In the town of Jaen,
Andrea took a job as a language teacher.
Luis is a boulderer too. He is so strong, he lifts
his body weight using just the tips of his chalked fingers.
His face lights up each time he looks at Andrea.

Luis and Andrea got married and moved to the States.
Luis never spoke English before he met Andrea.
She was not easy on him when he learned English.
She believes you must be immersed to swim.

They now live in Colorado where she is
a Spanish language professor. They take hikes
on the weekends to challenge new rocks.
When Andrea began to fall from the boulders,
they wondered why.

Andrea is 34 years old. She has been diagnosed with MS.
Communication has been disrupted between cells.
The lines are down. Repairmen cannot restore the breaks.
The rock has opened up. Andrea doesn't know
how she will hold on.


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