This poem in the form of a sonnet is about EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. In the UK it has been a NICE-recommended trauma treatment since 2005. I did my initial EMDR training in 1999 and became an Accredited EMDR Consultant in 2009. The poem describes my initial session with someone whose employers were supporting him after an armed hold-up.
Holding a fingertip to his right ear;
this is the worst part of the memory:
all bright, vivid. He is still forced to see
and feel the machete: cold steel, cold fear.
Now he dreams, cannot sleep, was driven here
by his wife. Four or five men, he tells me,
balaclavas, jumped from a van. Now he
lies with a blanket of guilt, but it’s clear
to me that he wants to become the man
that he was. That he did the best he could.
As you’ve come through pain and grief in the past,
you can do that again. Sounds and sights can
go. We’ll create your Safe Place now. I’ll put
you in for next week. This stuff will go, fast.