Otaniyuwa Ehue

Poly Prep Country Day School, ‘19    “I’m motivated to speak out on climate change because I want a future for not only “Karali” but for future generations.”   Ota was born and raised in Prospect Lefferts, Brooklyn, and dreams of being an NBA franchise general manager one day. He has been interested in spoken word poetry since his freshman year and writes during his free time. He also loves singing and basketball and is always striving to become a better person and accomplish his goals.

Poly Prep Country Day School, ‘19

“I’m motivated to speak out on climate change because I want a future for not only “Karali” but for future generations.”

Ota was born and raised in Prospect Lefferts, Brooklyn, and dreams of being an NBA franchise general manager one day. He has been interested in spoken word poetry since his freshman year and writes during his free time. He also loves singing and basketball and is always striving to become a better person and accomplish his goals.

Karali

One day I am going to have a daughter

Her name will be Karali and she will be the most beautiful thing I've ever laid eyes on

Her name will be Karali and her nickname will be Kara

In Cornish her name would mean love and that’s all that I would give to her

From the moment I first hold her I would give her all the love I could muster and remind her everyday of what her name means

Now I know I know it's strange I already have her name picked out

I'm only 18 and I should be worried about college not baby names

I should find out my wife's name before I start thinking about my child's

But I have to think about this baby that I'm going to cling desperately to

Because the world refuses to

I see myself holding my daughter named Love

And I see her first breath being contaminated with pollutants and chemicals

I see her first tears to signal her first breath coming out in streams of oil

I hear her first laugh and it sounds like the sounds of car horns and stone cold capitalists concerned about efficiency over morality

I see her first steps and they're through mounds of litter that she has to stumble through

I see her with a little bit more pigmentation than others

I see her subjected to the same systems that work disproportionately against people who look like her

People who aren't able to run away from the destruction of their environments

People who constantly are faced with the issues that those who forsake our planet continuously ignores

People who are the first to be hit by a disaster but the last to be saved

Those trapped in self-deprecating cycles because they lack the resources to change the systems they are forced into and so they continue to play into them

Systems that value success and profit over lives because caring about others isn't baked into our curriculums

So now green can only be seen in money- trees standing tall while we're clipping them

Down

Innovators stand up

I see the future, our sons and daughters running through muck

Imagine looking in their eyes knowing you didn't do enough

Imagine hearing them cry because a wild fire from lack of rain woke them up

I imagine seeing Karali, seeing my baby, seeing love

Being choked and suffocated under clouds of smoke

Love drowned under heightened waves caused by melted ice

Because those charged with making change today have remained frozen

Love forced to stand her ground against a tide that has been aimed directly at her from the moment her heart beats

Love persecuted, forsaken at the hands of prejudice, ignorance, inaction

I see a world that Love cannot live in, that Kara cannot live in

Maybe I won't have a daughter