Albino Redwoods

The heartless, the myopic call us vampires,

parasites, though we are neither of these.

It is true we cannot feed ourselves, cannot

make our food from light alone, need the others.

Large stomata in our leaves, an anomaly, send

water into the air—an endless crying jag. Our

roots feed from the ground, absorb all the metals,

all the poisons. Yes we’ve been ridiculed, we’ve

been doubted and blamed. And if you spot us

shimmering incandescent in the canopy, you’ll

think us a trick of light, an impossibility. We

are rare, and docents hide us to keep us safe.

Unlike animals we cannot run. We are poets,

and we are sometimes loved to death.

Leona Sevick is the Press 53 Award for Poetry winner for her first full-length book of poems, Lion Brothers. Her work appears in Orion, Birmingham Poetry Review, Blackbird, and the Southern Review. She was a 2019 Walter E. Dakin Fellow for the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She serves as advisory board member of the Furious Flower Black Poetry Center and is Professor of English at Bridgewater College in Virginia, where she teaches Asian American literature.