One of my favorite poems in "Picnic, Lightning" by Billy Collins is "I Go Back To The House For A Book." During reflective moments, we sometimes ask ourselves how we got where we are, why we made the decisions we did, what chance encounters changed the course of our lives and what prejudices shaped our opportunities. In this delightful poem, Collins conjures up one of the infinite "other" Billy Collins' -- in this case the one that did NOT go back to the house for a book -- a ghost that forever lives three minutes ahead of him -- "another knot in the string of time."


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What humdrum event caused "pushcart Doug" and my paths to diverge? What eerie quirk of fate allowed our paths to cross? How many loops are in the "string of time"?

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