America's Finest Crop

We grow guns. 

We place them in the hands of Americans and say,

"Go play."

The inevitable senseless violence that follows 

is succeeded by senseless silence.

We cry

"Mental health"

We cry 

"Hateful rhetoric" 

We cry

"Politcal polarization"

But never do we shed a tear

for that which could have been prevented.

Do guns kill people?

"No. People kill People."

A finger pulls the trigger. 

A brain commands it to do so.

Yet the bullet ejected is what steals the breath,

the rhythmic beating of the chest.

Not the finger. 

Not the brain.

Not the person. 

Not the gun.

All actors in the tragedy, the farce, the drama:

Death. 

Yet the bullet brings the curtain down. 

This poem is about: 
My country
Our world

Comments

julius3434

Hello-- I work as a pastor and am wondering if I may use your poem as part of our worship service on Maundy Thursday.  We would give you proper attribution.  Please let me know.  We are located in Bethesda, MD.  Thank you in advance for considering.  bethesdaucc.org

 

dinner@eight

I would be honored! Of course you may use it. 

julius3434

Hello-- I work as a pastor and am wondering if I may use your poem as part of our worship service on Maundy Thursday.  We would give you proper attribution.  Please let me know.  We are located in Bethesda, MD.  Thank you in advance for considering.

Thomasjames101

Hello Dinner@Eight, 

I am writing an annotated bibliography about this poem and I need authors background. Could you write back with your name, education, and career.

Thanks Thomas

 

dinner@eight

Certainly, my name is Brayden and I am currently a high school senior. As of right now, I don't have a career, but I hope to one day become a journalist. Hope this helps!

Thomasjames101

Thanks Dinner@Eight

I also just thought it would be cool for you to know I actually live in the UAE. Your words have spread far. 

Thomas

dinner@eight

Wow that's so awesome! I'm so glad you enjoyed my poem. Thanks for letting me know :)

julius3434

Thank you so much for approving the use, Brayden!!!  I will give you proper credit.  I am hoping that a youth-- a young man in our congregation-- will read it.  We will be printing it in our bulletin for Maundy Thursday.  Thanks so much for writing back!!!

Best wishes to you.

Rev Dee Ledger, Bethesda United Church of Christ, Bethesda, MD

dinner@eight

Of course! Thank you so much for giving credit. I really appreciate it. I'm so glad my piece can be of use to you :)

Bnelson

I am from a very small town in Iowa and want to read your poem at the March for Our Lives event we will be having on Saturday.  We raise corn and soybeans here and a lot of guns, so this really spoke to me.  Thank you for writing this.

dinner@eight

I am so sorry I'm getting back to you so late! I've been busy these past few days, and haven't had a chance to check my email. I 100% support your reading of my poem at the March for Our Lives event and sincerely hope you went ahead and shared it today. Again, I do apologize for not getting back to you sooner and I am overjoyed that my piece resonated with you. 

greyingrassia

Hello,

Thank you for your poem ‘America’s Finest Crop’.

We are working on a documentary about gun violence and feel that your poem might be a perfect way to open the film.  

The film is being produced and directed by young filmmakers in conjunction with All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena.  The poem will be heard on the audio track as an introduction to the documentary. We hope that this will be encouraged and appreciated by you.

Please let us know what you think,

Steven Ingrassia, Producer

Grey Ingrassia, Director (16 years old)

 

dinner@eight

Hi guys! I’m so extatic that you are considering my poem for your film. I give you full permission to use my piece for the introduction of your documentary. I wish you all the best :) 

greyingrassia

Thank you so much!

NinjaStealthStealth

hi im sorry to bother you but I was wondering if this was ever published. I wanted to use it as a part as my forensics piece (dont worry the author is credited) but if not its agaisnt the rules. I know it seems silly to ask but i absoultely love your poem and it is exactly what I was looking for.

dinner@eight

It's not silly don't worry ! Thanks so much for your interest, I'm glad you enjoyed it :) Of course you may use it, as long as I'm credited, I'm A-okay with it !

Sruthiramesh22

Hi! I'm wiritng an op-ed piece on gun violence, and was wondering if I could use it? All credit will go to you, of course.

dinner@eight

I'm so sorry for the late response. You can totally use it if you're still needing it!

space

I really like this poem. I think it would work well with a Choral Reading I am putting together for my students. Would this be ok? We would give you credit, and would just need a name to add.

dinner@eight

Thank you so much for asking! Of course you may use it, my name is Brayden Voelkel. Glad you enjoyed it.

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