Dick Broom

Poet Observes Life in Trenton



Dick Broom
Trenton native Charlotte Parker, who still lives on the property her parents bought in 1919, is not a-verse to writing poems about her hometown and its people.

TRENTON — If Trenton had a poet laureate, Charlotte Parker, who has lived here nearly all of her 91 years, would probably be a top candidate for the job.

“In the year of 1920 on a cold and wintry morn,

It was the tenth day of February a baby girl was born.

I don’t think her parents were really all that pleased,

Because they already had two just like me.”

Ultimately, her parents had six girls and two boys.

Ms. Parker still lives on the Oak Point Road property that her parents bought the year before she was born.

She has been writing poetry off and on since the late 1950s, when she began making up verses about a neighbor, who was a carpenter.

“There is a man in Trenton, Byron Davis is his name,

And building people’s houses seems to have bought him fame.

The kind of houses that I mean are ones you find outside,

Most people call them outhouses and always try to hide.

He built one for his neighbor, who lives across the way,

The lumber there was waiting and it was a pleasant day.

But he built it tall and lanky, I heard the people say,

That you could see it plainly from half a mile away.”

When Charlotte Parker was a little girl, she would listen to an elderly neighbor recite poems written for children.

“I’ve always liked poems,” she said. “When I was growing up, when I found a poem I liked, I would save it.”

Several months ago, Trenton resident Hilton Hanscom asked Ms. Parker to write a poem about his wife Carlene’s collection of teapots.

“Some were given her by friends,

And some are ones she bought.

When she gets a new one,

It is added to the lot.”

Ms. Hanscom is a member of the board of selectman. A fellow board member, Sue Starr, said she likes Ms. Parker’s poetry because it’s simple and down to earth.

“There’s nothing overly fancy or intricate about it,” she said. “It’s just easy to listen to, and it’s about things that everyone can relate to.”

The Trenton Historical Society has honored Ms. Parker by posting copies of some of her poems in the display case the society maintains in the town office building. They are currently on exhibit there.

Ms. Parker said she has never written a poem specifically about Trenton, but she has been thinking about it.

“I love the town,” she said. “It’s a pretty little town. It’s my town.”

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Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]