Local News: Woman Dies In Chimney

By Kristen Tracy

They broke up and she, either fed up or drunk or undone,

ached to get back inside. Officials surmise


she climbed a ladder to his roof, removed

the chimney cap and entered feet first. Long story short,


she died there. Stuck. Like a tragic Santa. Struggling

for days, the news explains. It was a smell that led


to the discovery of her body. One neighbor

speaks directly into the microphone, asks how a person


could disregard so much: the damper, the flue,

the smoke shelf. He can’t imagine what it was she faced.


The empty garage. The locked back door. And is that

a light on in the den? They show us the grass


where they found her purse. And it’s not impossible to picture

her standing on the patio — abandoned — the mind


turning obscene, all hopes pinned on refastening the snap.

Then spotting the bricks rising above the roof


and at first believing and then knowing, sun flashing its

god-blinding light behind it, that the chimney was the way