Mark Loring’s They Whispered to Stay Alive ~ Bring Us Home is his second book of poetry. Several years ago, the author began writing a novel that focused on the “unfinished business” of returning home. Some of the characters stayed with him long after he had stopped writing. He missed them when he could no longer feel their presence, so, during a writing meditation he invited them to visit. Although none of the primary characters returned, a relative of theirs did. Her name was “Geneva Alberta Roy.” He called her “Miss. Geneva” and she called him “Salt.” Miss. Geneva would often speak to him in a whisper. When he asked her about the whispering, she explained that the whisper was an “offering to a forced silence.” Her grandmother, who was born a slave, believed there was no time for “wasted words.” They were not allowed to speak at night. If voices were heard, there were beatings and even death. So, they whispered.