On the Waterfront

inspired by the film "On the Waterfront" and the screenplay writer, Budd Schulberg

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

On the Waterfront

Cain and Abel

Charlie and Terry

Brother and Brother

You lifted him—Terry, you

lifted your brother, body limp

off the meat hook, gently

your brother    hanging in the alley

             hanging in the sky

You thought—

Charlie    you was my brother

you shoulda been lookin’ out for me

you told me—Terry    take the fall

for the short money    this isn’t your night

              this isn’t my night?

No    you didn’t think that

You thought of that day walking with Edie

through the park    along the water

she drops her glove    Pick it up, Terry

put it on    just keep walking    just keep talking

You thought—I coulda been a contender

I coulda been somebody

instead of a bum    which is what I am

No    you didn’t think that

You thought of Edie’s brother

going up to the roof that night    that night you called to him

you thought they were going to lean on him    just a little bit

the ‘boys’ of Johnny Friendly    threw her brother from the roof

He may be a pigeon

but he can’t fly

Terry, are you still lifting

your brother, gently    off the meat hook

Are you still looking for your pigeons

             circling    the sky

You might also like...

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

How to create a supportive community

by Shira Miller
Jonathan Bachman / Stringer / Getty Images

Michelle Obama’s New Memoir, “Becoming,” Overflows With Wisdom About Relationships, Failure, and Living With Optimism

by Nora Battelle

Self love, whippets and weight loss

by Dr Lucy Burns
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.