Editor’s note: The Post and Courier received several essays and poems on the subject of the Mother Emanuel AME Church slayings. We are publishing two in print and another online. Find all of them at postandcourier.com.

By Patricia Anne Edwards

A special chosen leader

To lead one of God’s congregation

Now he will always be remembered

Not only locally, but across the nation

To have something of this magnitude

Happen in such a religious and sacred place

We all must bow down and pray

And be grateful for God’s love, mercy and grace

Many will remain in disbelief

Some with heartaches, grief and pain

We all will continue to cry a sea of tears

Knowing only God can shield us from the rain

This deadly act may be very hard to digest

And many are questioning why.

It will just be too hard to comprehend

How these innocent people had to die.

We sit back and try to contemplate

What thoughts go through one’s mind

Why was this evil-doer filled with such hate

Towards hearts which were kind?

The Bible says, “the unjust will not prosper”

And this suspect will soon pay

But we must learn to conquer hate with love

And allow God to show us the way

We must not show negative outcomes

If positive results we want to achieve

And do not feel you must hold in your emotions

Because we all have the right to grieve

A very tragic and horrific situation

Which took the lives of nine

But the place their souls will go

We are sure they all will be fine.

Patricia Anne Edwards was born and raised in North Charleston. She is a member of Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. She has written more than 360 poems over the years, the majority based on current political events, love, death, race, religion and everyday life.