Beneath the Sweater and the Skin by Jeannette Encinias


Beneath the Sweater and the Skin

How many years of beauty do I have left?
she asks me.
How many more do you want?
Here. Here is 34. Here is 50.

When you are 80 years old
and your beauty rises in ways
your cells cannot even imagine now
and your wild bones grow luminous and
ripe, having carried the weight
of a passionate life.

When your hair is aflame
with winter
and you have decades of
learning and leaving and loving
sewn into
the corners of your eyes
and your children come home
to find their own history
in your face.

When you know what it feels like to fail
and have gained the
to rise and rise and rise again.

When you can make your tea
on a quiet and ridiculously lonely afternoon
and still have a song in your heart
Queen owl wings beating
beneath the cotton of your sweater.

Because your beauty began there
beneath the sweater and the skin,

This is when I will take you
into my arms and coo
you’ve come so far.
I see you.
Your beauty is breathtaking.


This comes from Jeannette’s website, where there is more beautiful poetry, information about Jeannette’s work, and details of a book of poetry being published in 2020.

I am going to be writing more about ageing and ageism in future posts, because it is something I have been noticing and experiencing myself. Time passes so quickly you don’t even notice it until it begins to show. And while your outer shell may wrinkle, you stay young inside. You want to be part of things. Not invisible, laughed at, or ignored because you have been on earth a little longer.

As Bette Davis once said ‘getting old is not for sissies’. It is, however, better than the alternative!

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

2 thoughts

  1. I keep up with your blog via Feedly and just want to say that while I will always LOVE your planner content, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the rest and some of your most recent posts – relationships, aging, etc. are among your BEST. Thank you for sharing! xo

  2. My 95 year old gran used to say “there’s many in the graveysrd, pushing up daisies would like my wrinkles. They’re a sign of a life lived to the full.”. Now I’m in my 70s, I agree with her.

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