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Evris Oake performs poetry, Alliance for Nuclear Accountability Awards Show

Evris Oake in a maroon button down, neck tie and Alliance for Nuclear Accountability name tag-- standing in the grass on Capitol Hill smiling.
Evris Oake joined the KS/MO delegation for their first year at Alliance for Nuclear Accountability 2024

Evris Oake (they/them) has joined ANA’s DC Days for the first time this year, thanks to ANA scholarships and PeaceWorks donors. Donations from our supporters made this trip possible. Please enjoy Evris Oake’s thoughtful poetry piece, and read along below.

Evris Oake
Do you think Adam knew?
As he split himself apart at the dawn of humanity,
that the same sun illuminating the petals and leaves of the Garden
would one day rest in the palms of his descendants?
Humanity is a peculiar creature.
Each following generation learns to see the world in a way it has never been beheld before.
Perhaps we are still too blind to believe that Adam knew.
We are born on the back of our parents,
and they on their parents, and so on
a ladder of turtle shell shoulders all the way down.
We name this inheritance,
the aging earth upon which we walk,
what we can know.
Collective consciousness cultivated by uncountable billions.
We trace our bloodlines like Bibles to the infinite expanse of human achievement.
Adam knew, he must have.
The wheel before it turned,
seeds before their sickles,
cities before the stone.
He knew.
Adam splits himself and in doing so takes the first step that would begin a trail,
a legacy, we would all find paradise upon.
Do his children know?
The wonders they may work,
the horrors they may wrought?
I fear we have forgotten.
Our way, the road we once walked upon.
Did they know?
When they split atoms,
that they held in their palms the same sun that once illuminated Heaven?
That in their grip was a power more fearsome than any gods’ design?

Certainly they knew.
With the kind of foresight found only atop the backs of every sacrifice to humanity’s hubris.
I get it.
The feeling of that energy coursing through your marrow and muscle,
what it is to be mortal and yet wield a weapon that would immortalize you.
It is a blood red fruit not so easily named forbidden.
Energized by temptation,
I get why they could fail to heed the warnings.
But did we forgive the first bite when we learned of its flavor?
Sin is a stain not so simply scoured.
I consider myself lucky.
To live in a reality formed by millions of years of labor, love, penance, and perseverance.
It is a gift I could not carelessly discard.
Did you know?
That with the breadth of human intellect accessible,
fonts of wisdom at your fingertips,
that we were born to fight on its behalf?
For the soil which grants us harvest,
the water which cleanses our sorrows,
the wind which guides our progress.
For every song and soliloquy,
every portrait and pirouette.
For the memory of those who came before
and to defend all the children who will soon come after.
It is our imperative to protect this.
There is no beauty and bounty in a world bombed barren.
Did you know?
Mankind began with a splitting and it will be salvaged by a coming together.
I stand here on the shoulders of titans,
steadfast only for their decades of dedication preceding this decree.
It is hand in hand, linked arm in arm,
that we may undo the harm to our planet.
It is on our knees, fingers in the dirt,
that we may begin replanting.
One seed at a time, we will blossom a future unlike any we have yet imagined.

For all that we could know or ever do,
we are yet uncertain what that world will be.
But one day, we will join each other among the flowers
and name our Garden: Eden.

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