Feeding the Birds

“Feeding the Birds,” by Margaret Hetherman, is the winner of the Columbia Journal‘s Special Issue on Loneliness in the art category.

Author’s note:

Coming upon the scene, I instinctively took the camera; later, I grappled with whether doing so had been invasive. The image shows a homeless man with birds in flight just after he tosses pieces of bread for them to eat. Solitary, but in winged company for a few moments. Off screen, his laughs sounds something close to bliss. The subtlety of a passing stranger can be seen in the shadow to his left. He appears abandoned. Discarded. Alone. But is he unhappy?

About the author

Margaret Hetherman's writing and photography have appeared in publications that include Washington Post (animals washed ashore), Gothamist/WNYC (social justice). She holds an MFA in Film from New York University, and B.A. from the University of Michigan (cum laude).

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