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Walking around Opa-locka City Hall at night? You may see a projected poem

By Asta Hemenway, Miami Herald


As the vibrant colors of 1920s-era, arabesque buildings begin to match the evening sky, Femi Folami-Browne leans on a tree in front of the Historic City Hall building in Opa-locka. She thinks about a poem she wrote that’s now projected, with light, at the sidewalk below her.

Folami-Browne, 68, recalls the summer of 1972, when she spent time writing love poems to her boyfriend — now her ex-husband, and the father of her children — at the Historic Opa-locka Train Station, a short walk from where her poem is seen today. After the Nigerian student pilot arrived, the two collected mangoes from grand Opa-locka trees, clutching them as they headed to the salty beach in her Aunt Edna’s old Cutlass Supreme. It’s a sweet memory.

“Poems have flavor and smell like salt air and mangos,” her displayed poem reads.


Says Folami-Browne, laughing: “This is a peace offering to my ex-husband.”


Her poem is now illuminated for all to see, and it has company. Anyone walking or driving near Opa-locka City Hall in the evening may see other short, shining verses projected from green lamp posts and displayed on sidewalks and buildings.

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