The fictional town of Agloe, New York, was invented as a
copyright trap by cartographers to help track infringement.

People driving through look at the map,
the empty road, the map. They clean their glasses.
Not knowing anything about this trap,
nearby townsfolk shrug, when asked. Time passes.

Myths arise about the mill that closed,
families that were forced to move away.
All sorts of dire causes are supposed.
Day trips are planned, with cheese and Cabernet,

to find anything left behind, to scout
for cellar holes, chimneys, a single door.
Since it’s a shame to let a town die out
like that, someone decides to build a store,

painted in weathered tones of creams and grays,
hoping to recall the halcyon days.

Articles by Midge Goldberg