JacobSecond Place
Jacob, 14 years old
Experience in the North Carolina foster care system






What's In Your Toolbox

I always was used as a tool.

For my mother, I was a screwdriver,

Unscrewing my father’s bolts,

Making all my father’s screws loose.


And for my father, I was a hammer

Smashing back at my mother,

Always trying to fix things,

But usually splitting the wood.


For Benny, I was a gun.

A silenced gun with blanks, no ammo.

He made threats but never did anything.

Every time he fired, I’d be the one to make noise,


But no one thought it was real.

I always felt like Jesus was my Power Tool

Who tried to fix everything 

But everyone else unplugged His cord


And took Him out of my life.

But when I was in the prison

Visiting my dad today,

I felt that someone plugged


The Power Tool back in again,

And now I feel like “The Builder,”

Screwing back in my father’s bolts,

And I also take the nails back out of my mother’s hands.


I also take the silencer off the gun

But the blanks are still in the chamber

And then everyone hears the shot

And knows something has happened.


I throw the gun into the river.

Jacob's poem, What's In Your Toolbox, was selected as the second place winner of FosterClub's Creative Expression Contest.