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Poetry in a Pandemic: ‘Month Zero’ and other poems

Month Zero: Morning

In quarantine

after spring rains

I put worms

back in the grass.

If samsara is nirvana

then last night’s drinking bout

has awakened me.


Month Zero: Night

In quarantine

little daughter’s voice rings out

grieving over some dream’s loss.

A truck thunders across

the near empty highway

and I wonder where

my mother’s world

has gone.


Month One

April has been cold

its death toll near

an entire war

and the later

receding light makes

the world vaster.

Enter the tiniest puppy:

Chidi — God exists — who

won’t go because

he has never heard

these sounds before

— bird, truck, wind against canvas —

they make him so hoppy so

he falls upside down

and revels in spring leaves.


May Day

In quarantine

everything is cut

to the bone.

Bodies decompose outside

a Queens funeral home.

This stabs into the marrow

clapping the skeleton

with its force



takes care

of her own.

I don’t trust

when I can’t

handle opening

to the sadness.


Ted Koch is a local criminal defense lawyer who started the law firm of Koch, Garg & Brown with friends Vishal Garg and Mike Brown in February of this year. He lives in Niantic with his wife and two children, a middle schooler and a high schooler, and their puppy Chidi.

The Times is offering local readers a chance to share their poetry amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. To contribute, email


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