Posts by Wayne Johnston


Something makes me look up.

Here come the cows.

There are eight of them, steers actually. They’re tame, curious, and bored with grass. They’ll mouth the alder leaves for the new taste, and they’re gathering where the tree will fall.

Continue reading… "Fences"

Cannon Beach

I first met the Pacific Ocean at Cannon Beach when I was a kid. Tourists hadn’t taken over the town yet and it felt like we had the beach to ourselves. The vastness, and how puny I felt at the edge of the ocean was like looking into space at the moon and stars. The sense of amazement, the size and power of all that water, the sound of it breaking on the

Continue reading… "Cannon Beach"

Blood Draw, 1994

The girl at the computer terminal turns and smiles as though she’s glad I’m here, and I step through the open doorway out of hallway dimness into fluorescent brightness, organized clutter and the intimacy of the small room. She’s blonde, in her thirties, a little plump and wearing no make-up. I imagine her mothering small, well-behaved children when she’s not here. If I’ve seen her before, I don’t remember.

Continue reading… "Blood Draw, 1994"


The gun had always been there, in the brown leather shaving kit on the top shelf of the linen closet. I think he put it there when we moved into the house and we kids were small enough that we couldn’t reach it. Then he forgot about it. It wasn’t even his. It had belonged to my mother’s father, and it had history that was better

Continue reading… "Mirrors"