Yo Soy Boriquén

By Diego A. Cruz Piñero
11th grade, Colegio San Antonio de Padua, Puerto Rico

With lines from "Why Some Black Puerto Ricans Choose 'White' on the Census" by Natasha S. Alford, a Pulitzer Center reporting project

As I drifted into waywardness
The creeks of my imagination opened
Found themselves into my soul
Amidst a raging war opposing Spaniards and Green Coats

I guess that's where the name comes from
The creators of doctrine
Birthed the idea that we need to better the race

Who am I?
Boriquén, sacred treasure of slave and Taíno
Bastard child of the conquistador
Present, birthright to the star-covered eagle that's perched above.

Snapped out of this transitory state
Remembered I was just one of the many faces
Among my classmates
Yet, I am a dark skinned Latino born in Puerto Rico

Rethinking the unbearable truth of the past
Made me sick to my core

Despite Boriquén current rape
if I was given a second chance to live

I would scream at my imposed god's face
Or in my native tongue
Yo soy Boriquén

Diego A. Cruz Piñero
Diego A. Cruz Piñero

Diego A. Cruz Piñero is a Puerto Rican rising 12th grade student from Colegio San Antonio in San Juan. He is an aspiring writer that lived in Caguas, Puerto Rico, with his parents and grandparents for an early portion of his childhood. He moved to France with his mother, where they relocated to a different city several times due to her unsteady employment. Each time he got attached to new friends he knew he would never see again. Although he visited his island once a year, he started to grow a disconnection with his nationality. A sense of belonging to France pushed aside any feelings for the island he came from. After a few years, his mother moved back to Puerto Rico, due to her work, again. He hated the idea of coming back to the island, because it would force him to abandon a culture he harshly had to adapt to and a stability he was finally discovering in his latest school. He felt as though he didn't have a rightful place in the island because of his long absence. At first, he experienced discomfort being back to Puerto Rico. Thanks to the years of friendship from his classmates that showed him love and acceptance, he managed to reconnect with his island and his culture. He realized that without his island he would have never met such wonderful people. And today, he couldn't feel more proud of being Puerto Rican.

"I wanted my first published poem to tell the story of my island and how I feel about it."