Revelation After Cochlear Implant Revision Surgery

By Yehoshua November

One of the world’s top surgeons
pulls the curtain
of an empty examination room,
gestures for my wife and me to sit down. 
His eyes—intent, kind—peer out at us
from under his blue bouffant cap.
He looks older than when we last did this—
eight years earlier. He tells us our eleven-year-old 
daughter’s re-implantation was a success, 
the infection cleared. 
Sunlight streams through 
the Manhattan hospital’s high windows.   
He pauses, then leans forward in his folding chair 
to share a bittersweet secret:
I often present your daughter’s case
at conferences, projecting the image of her anatomy 
beside that of other deaf children with similar profiles. 
Their neural pathways never picked up
the implant’s signal. 
I use her as a miracle example 
proving it’s always worth it to try.

Yehoshua November, “Revelation After Cochlear Implant Revision Surgery” Copyright © 2021 by Yehoshua November. Used by permission of the poet. See