For the poem "My Fear" by Lawrence Raab I am going to break up the meanings stanza by stanza. The poem will be written out on the left and my interpretations of the stanzas will be at the bottom of the page.
He Follows us, he keeps track.
Each day his lists are longer.
Here, death, and here,
something like it.
Mr. Fear, we say in our dreams,
what do you have for me tonight?
And he looks through his sack,
his black sack of troubles.
Maybe he smiles when he finds
the right one. Maybe he's sorry.
Tell me, Mr. Fear, what must I carry
away from your dream.
Make it small, please.
Let it fit in my pocket,
let it fall through
the hole in my pocket.
Fear, let me have a small brown hat
and a purse of crickets
like the ones i heard singing last night
out there in the srubbly field
before i slept, and met you.
In the first stanza when Raab says "he" I think of the he as being a person or an entity that has control over everyone's death and the time for them to go, kind of like the grim reeper or god. When he says the "he" has a list I think of all the names on that list that the being must visit so he can end their lives.
In the second stanza the person is talking about having nightmares. The being now is "Mr. Fear", and Mr. Fear is looking through his bag for a nightmare for us to dream about.
In the third stanza it is a continuation of the Mr. Fear who is picking out nightmares for the narrator to dream about. Raab is writing about how the entity reacts when he finds a nightmare for the narrator. The narrator also asks what must he carry, and I think this is referring to a journey as in what must the narrator carry through his journey to get out of it, and in good condition; the "journey" is going back to the dream.
The fourth stanza is a continuation that is saying what must the dreamer take out of the experience or the dream in order to learn from it and go through life with more wisdom. The dreamer is saying to have it fit in his pocket or stay with him at all times or not stay with him at all.
In the fifth stanza the dreamer does not want fear to stay with him at all times but to have something better like a small brown hat or a purse, something cheerful.
The last stanza is saying how the dreamer wants a dream that is happy like before falling asleep and hearing the sounds of the night. The dreamer does not want his mind to wander into something scary and wild but calm and joyful.