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Sweet Louisiana

By Talya Johnson

Winner, 2021 VSU Art + Poetry Contest

A small city girl

needs a new adventure of wonder

and freedom to embark on

to leave behind

fear, rejection, and doubt

and that new life has become you

Sweet Louisiana

Oh, how I love you

Oh, how I adore you

I couldn’t wake up in a better place

as sweet jazz music plays softly in the background,

the people are as alive as the music here …

my spirit feels welcomed.

This is where I want to be

spending each Sunday morning

in these soft silk sheets being woken to the smell of beignets

looking over the balcony at the view of paradise

with you Sweet Louisiana.

The saxophone plays beautifully

in the background

I can’t seem to resist as it sweeps me off my feet

I dance in joy – rejoice as I am free

in the city of art

in the city of love

in the city of wonders …

Could this be?

my place to call home

that has opened its arms for me …

an unconditional love

that feels so real and comfortable

you have found me

in such an unexpected way.

Sweet Louisiana

Oh, how I love you

Oh, how I adore you

Just like roses, they bloom

when a new journey begins,

I wonder what Sweet Louisiana has for me

I’m hopeful

I’m grateful

I’m optimistic.

If only you could see the sunset from here as it glows on

my warm, soft, and beautiful brown skin

I deserve a fulfilling life of happiness and a

fresh start somewhere new.

Sweet Louisiana

I can’t wait to see

what you will have in store for me.

Louisiana I’ve become your muse in a photograph

someday my children will see

how the state I love, and I adore is o so sweet.

As I listen to the train as it takes off

in the distance from the balcony

I know I am

home at last

About the Author

Talya Johnson, Virginia State University

Talya Johnson is a senior Mass Communications major at Virginia State University. She is a writer of poetry and short fiction and Editor-in-Chief of One Twenty One.

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