It felt now as though a monster had been let in during the early years of her marriage. It was a monster for whom the present was never simply the present, this marriage never simply between these two people. For the monster all marriages were One. One marriage with many faces and names taking up the war across ages.
It was a holy crusade that reached across generations. She could see the battle scarred faces of women on one side, on the other side, tyrants. She saw her sisters there, faces held still in martyrdom, waiting for a portrait that would never come. She saw their husbands menacing with hideous righteousness. Her daughter stood there too, face downcast, too proud to see the manacle clamped to hands and feet. Closer to her were those friends abandoned by men, shaking their chains at the void. Wouldn’t someone please take up the ends of these shackles?
[something from the daughter here]
She alone was free.