Homing Pigeons by David Mauriello


This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author’s PRIOR consent


    Brothers Ralph (80s) and Peter (70s) sit on a park bench

    Pigeons roost on a nearby roof

      RALPH:: Feed them.  They got nothing to eat.

      PETER: The sign says ďdonít feed the pigeonsĒ.

      RALPH: Huh, what sign?  ( grows emotional) Crazy, are they crazy?
      They helped us in the old war.  They carried messages and if they got
      caught they were fed alive to dogs.  All the sacrifice and who will
      remember?  Two of the guys on our street never made it home. And now,
      ďdonít feed them!

      PETER: Itís a different generation.

      RALPH:  They would fly with legs shot off, eyes shot out, just to get
      home.  Then theyíd just go away quiet and wait to die Ďcause they
      werenít whole anymore.  Give Ďem the bread.

      PETER:  I canít.  The sign.

      RALPH: Just do it.  My smart little brother.  (places his hands around
      Peterís face)  Youíre not afraid anymore are you?

      PETER:  That was good of you to come home early like that.  So I could

      RALPH:  Remember when it rained?

      PETER:  Ralphie,  I,  yes I remember.  I loved when it rained.  There
      it was raining on the roof only inches away from us under those eaves.

      RALPH: Petey.  I didnít change you did I?  By letting you touch me
      like that.  You said you liked it.

      PETER: No, you didnít change me.  I remember those nights as special.

      RALPH: Remembering them was all I had after the grenade hit me. They
      patched me up, but…

      PETER: What?  Is that why you stopped getting in touch?  I thought it
      was because I was gay.  All these years.  Did you think Iíd care?
      How bad is it?

      RALPH: Something got broke.  A connection.  I guess thereís a lot of
      little nerves down there and if they break.

      PETER: We never should have stopped Ralphie.

      RALPH: I was older. We were brothers, itís..a..

      PETER:  Taboo?  Like signs that say ďdonít feed the pigeonsĒ?

      RALPH: You were so young.

      PETER: No, not near the end, before you went into the army.

      RALPH: But still brothers.

      PETER: You used to tell me that pigeons mated for life. Where does
      that connection come from?  Thatís not something a mind decides.
      It comes from something, big, inside all life. We had it.  We let the
      rules break it.  And Iíve lived all my life with a great big hole
      in the middle of it.  I figured there must be something else,
      something acceptable that Iíd want instead if I found it.  But I
      never did.

      THEY sit quietly for some moments

      RALPH : Petey.  Look at me   Neither did I, neither did I. Thatís
      really why I got in touch.  Yeah, I,  I wanted to tell you how it is
      and,  and just get it right and I thought I should do it before, well
      at my age, who knows?

      PETER:  Ralphie ( takes Ralphís hands, kisses the palms)

      RALPH: But we canít go back.

      PETER: We donít have too.  We still have the cake. US. Weíre
      still here. Weíll just come up with   new frosting.  Let me make the
      decision this time. Iíd love to, to get you to the barber more
      often, make sure you shave, do your laundry.

      PETER: Nooo..

      PETER: Yes, to touch and smell the things you wear or sleep in, or
      eat out of.

      RALPH: I canít let you do that?

      PETER: Help you keep house.  Do you make your bed?  Dust?

      RALPH:  Sure..ahÖwell..

      PETER:  We can watch old Rita Hayworth movies. Iíll be Rita and you
      can be that handsome actor she played with.

      RALPH:  Glenn Ford.

      PETER:  Guess what we are going to do right now?

      RALPH: Ditch the doctor?

      PETER:  No.  (pulls loaves of bread from bags, unwraps them) Feed
      the pigeons. Here.

      THEY rise, PETER fills   their hands with crumpled bread.

      PETER: Give them a feast.

      RALPH:  Petey, I think they heard you.  Look, more and more are
      coming.  Whoa..look at that, a   flock of Ďem,  circling overhead.

      PETER: They didnít hear me.  They smelled LIFE.  LIFE.  Iím not
      going to let them get so hungry that   they have to eat poison the
      way I did.

      RALPH:  Petey, up there, all alone on the roof.  I think itís ..a RED! 
      (he taps his forearm with his fist filled with bread)  Red, come
      on home boy, come on home!


[end of extract]