It’s not really a bench, more a polished hunk of tree-trunk. A section planed smooth to accommodate weary haunches, a poignant inscription carved in caps:
THE THAMES WILL CARRY HER SONS FOREVER
BRUNO - CONRAD - MAX
I think of the heart trees of Westeros and it strikes me that this piece of oak carries a trio of hearts, a sextet of hearts, an infinity of hearts. Who knows how many lives these boys touched: Bruno, Conrad, Max.
I imagine their ashes, their atoms, scattering into the water, merging into a whole and travelling with the currents to the ocean. Evaporating under the swollen sun to form ominous pewter bulkheads, blown westwards to Cotswold elevations before joining Father Thames once more. Carried in his currents cyclically, forever.