Elegy with a Miracle on the Outside by Abena Ntoso

Elegy with a Miracle on the Outside

              (In the style of “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith)

Life doesn’t end inside a one-story building if you wait long enough.
Life doesn’t end although technically, clinically it could be argued that
this is what you were there to do, in a clinic some have argued
should not be there to do this, if only you would just wait
long enough. If you’re lucky, a best friend sits beside you
in the waiting room, holding your hand if you wait long enough.
If you fill out the forms, it’s unnecessary to write at the top
“I’m scared” because if you wait long enough it will be obvious
from your tears. If you get there very early and you wait
long enough, the nurse will call your name and you won’t
remember anything except the bright light shining over you
in the procedure room as the sedation begins to take effect
if you wait long enough. You have an infant daughter waiting
for you at home, and she’s a miracle you want to raise.
You yourself are a miracle too, let’s not forget.
It would be a shame to forget.


Abena Ntoso is a poet living in Houston, Texas. Her poems have appeared in Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Satirist, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Trampoline, and The Wrath-Bearing Tree.

One thought on “Elegy with a Miracle on the Outside by Abena Ntoso

  1. Oh this poem–it is so human, so fiercely vulnerable. It makes me feel such tenderness–thank you. Using second person here is a powerful choice.

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