birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Mt. Kilimanjaro

We made a promise to each other  
to one day go back to Africa  
and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.  
That venerable snow-capped old man  
has always stayed in my heart.  
But the budding, swelling possibilities  
of youth really cannot survive  
the harsh conditions that arise in  
the days that make up adulthood.  
Everything used to seem so easily  
in reach, just a matter of stretching  
out and grabbing the opportunity  
I just knew was barreling towards  
coming up. We never talk about it:  
the absurd dream of Africa and the  
mountain on the edge of the Serengeti.  
It’s the current realization of its absurdity  
that helps me see the privilege I  
enjoyed as a youth, for one thing.  
For another, I have come lately to  
know I do not want to go back to  
East Africa. The place that was  
there in the seventies is gone and  
I’m afraid to see animals suffering  
against the crush of a larger human throng. 

Love Remains