Ruth Aylett teaches and researches computing in Edinburgh. She has published widely in magazines and anthologies – including The North, The Interpreter’s House, Southbank Poetry, and Mancunian Way. Joint author of Handfast (Mother’s Milk 2016), she has two single-author pamphlets out in 2020: Pretty in Pink (4Word), and Queen of Infinite Space (Maytree).
Casa del exilio
Old black roots growing into a stone wall
in the village of the coyotes, weeds
languishing in dry corners, waiting for
a rain to fall and germinate their seeds.
They called him the Old Man, so dangerous
to power, no country wanted him to stay,
forced exile here. The walls and towers were just
part of the price for living through those days.
He grew these cacti, wrote and organized,
disdained the bullet holes above his bed,
said history is made through truth not lies
was murdered with an ice pick through the head.
Though all that’s gone, his tough old weeds persist
still sprouting in the mind: resist, resist.
First published in Envoi