The barber has accidentally taken off an ear. It lies like
something newborn on the floor in a nest of hair.
Oops, says the barber, but it musn’t’ve been a very good
ear, it came off with very little complaint.
It wasn’t, says the customer, it was always overly waxed.
I tried putting a wick in it to burn out the wax, thus to find my
way to music. But lighting it I put my whole head on fire. It
even spread to my groin and underarms and to a nearby
forest. I felt like a saint. Someone thought I was a genius.
That’s comforting, says the barber, still, I can’t send you
home with only one ear. I’ll have to remove the other one. But
don’t worry, it’ll be an accident.
Symmetry demands it. But make sure it’s an accident, I
don’t want you cutting me up on purpose.
Maybe I’ll just slit your throat.
But it has to be an accident . . .

Analysis, meaning and summary of Russell Edson's poem Accidents

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