Queen's Quarterly

Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

In the Shadow of Krymsky Bridge

Jillian Stirk

Fall 2021 - In the Shadow of Krymsky Bridge

Legs dangling, we sit on the ledge above the river in the shadow of the bridge, a cat’s cradle of vaulted steel. Pools of light from graceful spans dance on the water like riverine ghosts. The metallic timbre of trombone still echoes in my ear. We eat khachapuri and drink cheap Crimean wine from paper cups. Salty cheese seeps from warm bread and stains my dress.

We talk of summer and salsa, of poetry and platitudes. He says I speak his grandmother’s Russian. A strange intimacy, like passengers on a train. The febrile northern light lasts long into the night …


Jillian Stirk spent 30 years in Canada’s foreign service with assignments that took her around the world. Her writing has been published by the Globe and Mail, the Quarantine Review, Trek Magazine, the World Today, and Open Canada, among other publications. She lives in Vancouver and is currently working on a novel.