A mechanical device used to rupture the shell of a nut, so as to expose the edible fruit, which is then consumed. Real nut crackers are metal and have two handles which meet at an intersection, between which the nut is inserted. Decorative nut crackers are wooden, with a place(the "mouth") to put the nut. A handle is then depressed in the back, which acts as a lever and applies equal pressure to the nut in question. These nut crackers do work, but they are rarely used as such. The Nut Cracker is also a popular play about Christmas.

At conferences
they keep saying
what a bad job I'm doing

Only half of hypertension
is controlled
in primary care
(I note that I don't really
control anything)
even less of high cholesterol
They've changed who should
be on aspirin

We don't diagnose peripheral vascular disease enough
Vitamin E is out
and maybe we should
use hormones after all

The management
says see more people
faster faster
My clinic time dropped
from 30 to 20 minute visits
In Seattle doctors have it worse
Six people per hour

Mrs. Smith is here
My nurse puts a pop up
that her blood pressure is too high
Otherwise I might miss it
I quickly scan my last note
Did she stop taking her medicine
or is it not enough
We should talk about colon cancer screening
And when were her last labs?

She is here for foot pain

But then she tells me
her daughter is back on drugs
left rehab
She is caring for her three year old
She's tired
She's in tears

We have ten minutes left

I wonder
where exactly
I should start?

first draft: 6/17/07, revised for Iron Noder 2014
musical accompaniment: Joni Mitchell

Nut"crack`er (?), n.


An instrument for cracking nuts.

2. Zool. (a)

A European bird (Nucifraga caryocatactes), allied to the magpie and crow. Its color is dark brown, spotted with white. It feeds on nuts, seeds, and insects.


The American, or Clarke's, nutcracker (Picicorvus Columbianus) of Western North America.


© Webster 1913.

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