By Cody Zachariasen

The York Bird

A really fat silver bird with a blue head
Its wings and body crackle when touched
Its feathers are smooth, and spiky
Its silvery body stands out from
the dark brown field around it

Suddenly, the bird opens up and reveals its soul
How do I open the bird fully?
Then the bird opens its soul to reveal its true self
A clean and fresh scent wafts over the field of brown


The true bird is smooth and does not make a sound
Suddenly, the bird gets sucked out of existence and into legend
Poor birdie
I wonder will the bird be gone forever?

Then I realize the bird will stay with me
The bird’s soul is a darkened sun

*Scroll to the bottom of this page to learn the meaning of the York bird

Life is a Secret

Bob. The problem is he is homeless. He is afraid of police, teenagers, and other homeless guys. He wants a house, a job, money, a family, and food.

The only reason he doesn’t have what he wants is he’s a 65-year-old homeless guy who’s lucky if he finds a dollar on the ground or gets a stale piece of bread. His secret is that he is the president’s cousin and was arrested 10 times.

Each day Bob wakes up, grabs his sign, and walks out of his alleyway. After 12 hours of begging, he starts to look for things to collect.

His most treasured possession is his Medal of Honor that he got in the Vietnam War. He has touched something in a sewer that he doesn’t want to know about. He has eaten a bat. He has smelled 80 dead bodies and heard a bullet go through his own leg.

The Hat

I see a squished hat.
My dog has shed on it and probably stepped on it.
It has been neglected in my home.
It was found and re-neglected in my car.
It was then sat on and shed on by my dog… again
There is a white and black strip that is torn.
It has a dent in the top.
It bears signs of falling in mud.
The tag that once bore my name is yellow with age.
The holes catch light in their center and shine like stars,
Which tells me that there is still hope for this hat.

The Armchair and the Cup


I think about my armchair. It was so soft. It was in my fancy living room. Smooth leather covered the soft penguin down inside. Now I compare that image to this dark, damp prison cell, with its uncomfortable steel bunk that water drips on, so the scratchy sheepskin blanket is always cold and wet.


Hi, I’m Joe the Knife, and this is my friend, Bob; he’s a fork. Also in the fantastic world of Kitchen, we have a plate named George and a bowl named Sally. And of course, there’s the ever-boasting Martha, who is a cup, but no-one likes her.

Cody Zachariasen is a 10-year-old rising sixth grader at Sierra Expeditionary Learning School. He is also a writer. Cody has been writing poems and stories under the guidance of Karen Terrey of Tangled Roots Writing since second grade and attended a three-week, writing-focused summer camp in Pasadena with the Center for Talented Youth. He’s a bit shy but is nevertheless getting involved in Truckee’s literary scene. This spring he read and had his poem read aloud at the first Untitled: a word jam open mic reading at the Dark Horse coffeehouse. When he’s not writing, Cody can be found playing baseball or Minecraft, reading, skiing, running rivers, playing with his two cute dogs, or contemplating his future as a movie director.

*York Peppermint Pattie

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