My Grandma Doesn’t Love Me, 2018

My Grandma Doesn’t Love Me, artist’s book
Mixed media and soy sauce painted with brushes from my other grandma who does love me
Closed dimensions: 6″ x 7″ x 1.5″
Open dimensions: 12″ x 7″ x 12″


My grandma doesn’t love me,
and I don’t think she ever did.
She really wanted me to be a boy
and was very disappointed that
my parents had a girl.

One very hot summer
when I was three,
Mama went into labor
and Papa asked Grandma
to take care of me.

“Ok,” she said,
“But I’d rather be at work,
so I’ll leave her in the car
until I clock out.”

When my brother arrived,
Grandma was relieved.
She finally had a grandchild
she felt she could love.

Nothing changed as I got older.

Not gifts, not hugs,
not the cakes I baked for her.
I even tried to learn some family recipes.

Not a thing could convince
my grandma to love me.

“Grandma, can you show me
how to cook that?”

“Oh it’s nothing,” she’d say,
“You just add soy sauce.”

But I would see her sharing
elaborate recipes with my

“What about this other
dish, Grandma?
Can you teach me
how to make that?”

“I don’t have to teach you
Just add soy sauce.”

I used to feel sad,
like I might have missed out
on special memories.
Other people have grandmas
who love them
and share with them.

But I guess I can’t miss
something that I never had.

I know there will come a day
when we must all gather
and remember how she was
a part of our lives.

I won’t have very much to say,
but perhaps in lieu of flowers,
I will just add soy sauce.

Photos by Probably Joel 2018
2018 Evelyn Wong