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by  Megan Hollingsworth

There is a girl
feeding a frog
who lives in a glass cage

he is the last frog

so she feeds him

looks into his bulging eyes
and sees him soaring
from the tree

They sing songs

until he dies
with her by his side

He was the last frog

he sang songs
she remembers

so she sings them

And though she 
may not live
to see the pond
or know the one
she calls for,

her song gives birth

to the first frog

death is not real

Death is not real
Death is not real
The song, eternal


Author’s note (updated November 2, 2023): The last lines of “Frog Song” came through during a Bell Ringing Joy Giving Practice on Remembrance Day for Lost Species, November 30 th , 2016. The rest of the poem was inspired by the natural longing for companionship and the life of Toughie, the last known living Rabbs’ fringe-limbed treefrog who died on September 26 th of that year. Images of The Mourning Gown in this Deep Times publication are courtesy of Sew the SEEDS quilt project founder Sherrell
Biggerstaff Cuneo.

In October 2023, a revised version of “Frog Song” was published in an educational children’s book by the same name and illustrated by Bonnie Gordon-Lucas. Intended for accompanied readers ages 9 and up, Frog Song includes Toughie’s true story within the context of the global amphibian health crisis and introduces the sixth mass extinction. The book also includes an expanded glossary, references for further learning, illustration exercises, and conservation homework to help amphibians, fellow humans, and other species survive and thrive. Please see for more.

Megan Hollingsworth, MS, earned her master’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana and is currently an East West Psychology doctoral student (art and psychology) at California
Institute of Integral Studies. She is a birthright Friend (Quaker) and lay practitioner of Engaged
Buddhism. In 2012, Meg initiated the creative spiritual practice Extinction Witness to express and support complicated grief associated with anthropogenic species extinction and genocide. Rooted in Quaker tenets and a traditionally action-oriented witness, Extinction Witness is led by optimism–“belief in the essential goodness.” Meg’s writing has been published in journals including Kosmos Journal and Unpsychology Magazine’s Climate Minds Anthology (VOW 2 ACT), and in anthologies including What do we do about inequality? – Wicked Problems Collaborative Book I (WPC, 2016) and Spirit Rising: Young Quaker Voices (FGC, 2010). Please see for more.


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