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Pedro Pietri
Born: Ponce, Puerto Rico. Lives in New York City


They used to draft us from Puerto Rico. That's the reason Puerto Ricans were made American citizens in the first place. The purpose of the Jones Act. These two soldiers who were drafted in Puerto Rico approached me and my friend, my good friend Angel Luna, to alert us and awaken us--to make us aware of the fact that this was not our war to fight. We have no business going there, invading total strangers who share a lot in common with us. So anyway, they told us we should just go AWOL. At least it would guarantee our lives. We could come out of it alive. And me and my friend Angel Luna--we were sort of--like--colonized, right?--being raised up here. We decided that--well, you know, we both stated that our mothers would have heart attacks if we desert our patriotic obligation and not fulfill our military duty in service to this country. So they went AWOL and me and Angel Luna went to Vietnam. And I came back a year later totally out of my mind and I call up to find out his whereabouts and he had died the first month there. I wrote a poem for his mother in this book. It's written in Spanish and I--afterwards--I will translate it into English. I'll read this poem because that blew my whole mind. "It's called "Para La Madre de Angel Luna." I mean it really blew my mind. When I speak about this I have memories afterwards.

"Para La Madre de Angel Luna."

El hijo tuyo queria irse AWOL
La noche antes de salir para Vietnam
Con su nombre boricua adentro de ese uniforme norteamericano
Fabricado en Wall Street por esos inhumanos
Que quieren conquistar al mundo entero.
El hijo tuyo comprendia quien era el enemigo verdadero,
queria irse AWOL la noche antes de salir para Vietnam
Pero no se fue porque no queria hacer a su madre sufrir
Cuando la policia militar fuera a su hogar en el South Bronx para encarcelarlo.
La noche antes de salir para Vietnam
Lo ultimo que el hijo tuyo le dijo a su companeros boricuas fue:
"Si no regreso vivo, diganle a mi madre querida que me entierre
En la tierra de Borinquen."

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