When I was seven, my father set up in the backyard with a big sheet of plywood spread across a couple saw horses. He painted a mural of a barn the viewer could see through to a field on the other side. One time he pointed out a bumble bee he’d smashed onto the painting right where it had landed, now perched on a painted flower–the flower added post-kill. It was hilarious, at least we both thought so (sorry, PETA), and from that day on I paid much closer attention to these paintings of his.

We took many walks together into that painting. It hung on our utility room wall, and I remember going to the stairs and staring at it, imagining our walk, always going through the barn to the field.

The bee eventually fell away, and my father sold the painting to his boss for $50.

(Image Credit: David M. Bridges)

Derek Bridges lives in New Orleans, trading in words and pictures. A carpetbagger of long standing, he grew up in the top right corner of IL and later went to college in the middle cornfield part. He has also lived in MS and FL, for educational purposes only, and was diasporized for a time in TX.

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