Kate Hendry is a writer, teacher and editor.
She was the 2013-14 Scottish Book Trust Reader in Residence at the National Library of Scotland and has run poetry reading groups for the Scottish Poetry Library and at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She has taught English and creative writing universities, prisons and schools. She is a trustee of StAnza, Scotland’s poetry festival.
Her poetry and fiction has been widely published in magazines and anthologies. Her first poetry collection, The Lost Original was published by HappenStance Press in 2016.
We’re in Costa on high stools
by the window, watching buses go by.
She asks me if I’ll help her
count to one hundred. We’re to take turns.
She starts at twenty one.
At forty five we break to laugh.
At sixty four she pauses for a sip
of hot chocolate and to squeeze
the two pink marshmallows
she’s keeping till last.
Our counting starts again.
I try a stumble at seventy six
by repeating her number
but she catches me out
and puts her sticky fingers on my lips.
At ninety, I want to stave off ending;
I slow down, mumble,
feign confusion. Ninety what?
But she urges me on.
It’s me who has to say one hundred.
She bites the first marshmallow.
‘You had all the evens,’ she explains
as if I should have known
it was always my task
to be in charge of endings.